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.