Cover Photo: Nane Zavagno
When I looked up the word ‘Simplicity’ in the dictionary to find the exact meaning of this word, there were two definitions written;the quality or condition of being easy to understand, being plain or uncomplicated in form or design.
For me simplicity is the greatest adornment of art and the final achievement. Simplicity is sometimes vague, but almost always present. Sometimes you just need to know where to look for it, or how to look for it. The question remains: How easy is it to turn down the noise and distraction of our own lives long enough to let the simplicity and ordinariness come into sight?
When considering the essence of an artwork one directly yet subconsciously imagines an astonishing neo-futuristic installation. How can one connect the artwork to another artwork or personal experience? What was the artist’s intention, behind his or her creation? But what about when we are fortunate enough to witness Simplicity In Full Bloom, created by either anthropogenic or universal elements governed by the simplicity of beauty and laws of neuroaesthetics?
A brief, yet breathtaking accumulation of the artistic Simplicity In Full Bloom follows:
Vincent Van Gogh discovered this simple philosophy in a pair of shoes. While living in Paris, he went through a phase of painting old shoes. He saw the beauty, the profound, in one of life’s simplest objects.
In the spring of 1987, a sunny yellow oil painting of sunflowers sold at Christie’s auction house for a breathless $39.9 million. In November of that same year, a powerful canvas depicting a garden of blue irises sold at Sotheby’s in New York for a dizzy $53.9 million, the highest price ever received for a work of art at that time. A year later, a portrait called Dr. Gashet sold for an astonishing $82.5 million. All of these paintings were created by Vincent van Gogh, a Dutch artist who completed some 875 canvases and 1,100 sketches in his lifetime. Yet he sold only one of these,The Red Vines, for 80$. This increase in value is an expression of our progressive society, as well as our widespread awareness—due in part to the effects of modern mass-communication—of the sentiments of a highly gifted, articulate man.
Van Gogh was a young man who had no thought of being an artist at all. While writing a letter to his younger brother in Holland, he looked out his window at a watery twilight, a thin lamppost, a star, to write in his letter “So beautiful I must show you how it looks” on his cheap ruled note paper, he made the most simple yet beautiful reproduction of the scene.
Vincent’s understanding of art was instinctual, visceral, and not dominated by trends or artistic movements of the time. His sense of art came from the heart, and the desire to communicate to his fellow men his life experience.
The moment I read Van Gogh’s letter I knew what art was, and the creative impulse. It is a feeling of love and enthusiasm for something, a creative simplicity…
Van Gogh’s little drawing on the cheap note paper was a work of art because he loved the sky and the frail lamppost against it so seriously that he made the drawing with the most exquisite conscientiousness and care. ” ― Brenda Ueland
Last but not least, we can only meet “simple” when we see it, when we touch it, when we use it. And one thing we quickly learn is that simplicity is quite difficult to achieve. Across the globe, the creative simplicity has never been more popular or more blooming. Although simplicity is often associated with minimalism and plainness, today it comes in all shapes and forms, from sculptures to mosaic art, and it has even inspired everything from graffiti font families to window displays and beyond. Hence, the featured mosaic art are a great example on how simplicity could embody the ultimate sophistication.
Featured Mosaics: Courtesy Of Beatrice Serre
What else would you have liked to have seen in this article?
Have any other thoughts or questions about simplicity ? Let us know in the comments below.
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