Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Minimalism and art

I just want to preface this post by saying that, although I'm talking about minimalism and art, I'm not talking about minimalism: the art movement.  I'm talking about the philosophy of minimalism and the topic of art.  Right.  Let's go.

Minimalism is a very personal thing and can have varying definitions depending on who you ask - that's what's so great about it - though it generally comes down to the idea that we shouldn't load objects with emotions and feelings but try to see them just as the things they are.  With this in mind, I want to discuss art.  We can easily look at layers of paint and see a face or the English countryside but the meaning behind art is surely all that we invest into it: the history, the context, how it makes us feel, our associations with the artist...  The whole point of art is that you come into contact with an inanimate object whose purpose is to trigger feelings in its observer.

Our connection to art is everything that we, as minimalists, try not to have in our possessions; we try not to look at one thing and see another.  It, therefore, would not be unreasonable to think of minimalists as people who can't appreciate art; to think of them as unromantic and unfeeling.

As minimalism creates more space in my life,  however, I have a deeper appreciation of the arts.  With a mind clearer of clutter, and although it may appear the reverse is logical, I find that there is more room for me to understand the value of things whose purpose is simply to be felt.  There is something within it that transcends the everyday pattern; something beautiful in the fact you can buy a work of art or a song but it is never yours.

Carmen x


  1. I am so glad to see this post. Last year I went in a gallery and found that I can actually afford to buy signed prints by my favourite Chinese painter. I went made and bought 3 prints two already framed and one rolled up. I could only squeezed in one print on a chest (after having ordered a stand shipped from Japan meaning more cartoon footprint and packaging), one is lying on a table waiting to be hung for more than 6 months now and the rolled up one still being rolled up. Now I get to look at it everyday it doesn't excite me as much as when I look at it in the catalog albeit I still like looking at it though I look at it lesser. It is one of those regrets + lessons in my life.

    1. Ah, that is a shame. Something I have done that may (or may not) be of use to you is, if there is something that I love but am not using, I give myself a deadline: I say, "If I do not use (or, in your case, hang up) this item in the next month then I will donate/sell it", and I find that is often the motivation I need to start being more intentional with the item. As you say, it is a good lesson! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post - I don't get many comments on my blog so it is very much appreciated! Thank you :)

    2. Thanks, selling it is a good option.


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