Welcome to photo blog 53, last week we looked at some lomography and this week we’re looking at some minimalism! Particularly the work of Maurice Vanes and his abstract photographs. The majority of his projects are personal, giving us an insight into his life (what we can see of it) and surroundings, for example his series “Textures of Childhood” which he describes as “A close-up journey through my old family photo album which focusses on details of things I saw everyday at that time.”
All of his work is connected by his style and subject, using photography as a tool to study the relationships he has with the people around him and his environment. My favourite is the series “Blank Staring Points” in which he documents all of the scuffs and marks of a busy household, capturing traces of activity:
“Looking at these traces makes me fantasize of what possibly could have happened.”
I initially thought this project (looking at the images without reading the description, I only had the title of the series to go on) was more to do with vast blank spaces in rooms that you got lost in so all you could see was colour, or the tiny marks that caught your eye on a blank wall. But the mystery and appraisal of what had happened, what events that had lead to this disarray is far more absorbing, and you are free to create your own scenario.
“My brother is a 16 year old boy. Usually when we asked him what keeps him busy, he would just tell us. But around the time he turned 16 he decided to tell us almost nothing. My reaction to that is to photograph the last thing I see of him when he leaves the house.”
All in all, this work is fascinating. His images are tactile and simplistic, distinctive and personal and quite frankly, different to what we usually explore on the photo blog and I’m please I came across it, I hope you enjoyed it!
“I like the fact that you can take a picture of a moment in time that will never come back. “