The Power of Abstraction

Andres Gonzalez is releasing a collection of quiet, dreamlike photographs taken during his time as a documentary photographer around the world. These photos are strange and beautiful; intimate details completely out of context: the horse’s mane that looks like a woman’s hair; the man kneeling as though in prayer with an axe above his head, blunt end facing forward. They are unapologetic, unexcused. 

They remind me a little of  Ron Fricke’s Baraka (1992), with its ‘this-is-the-world-deal-with-it’ style of lacing images together. The video is worth watching, and Gonzalez speaks poignantly about his art. I like what he says toward the end about ‘the power of abstraction to connect us to the real world’.

I suppose the strength of this documentary approach to abstract photography is that no matter how surreal a photograph is, it is still something that actually happened. It is a documentation of the world, a memory of the world. Anyway, the collection is worth checking out, and if you like it enough you can contribute some dollar. Spending money on paypal doesn’t feel like real money, but I guess that’s the real power of abstraction.



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