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To Gain Freedom Is To Gain Simplicity

"For me, to gain freedom is to gain simplicity. So, in the end, a line, a color is all that’s needed to create a painting." - Joan Miro

When I first saw that quote in the Joan Miro Museum in Barcelona I couldn't stop thinking about it..


I thought of how true it was and of how difficult it was - to gain simplicity.


When creating we often name, categorize, expound; through attempting to communicate or rationalize creative works and processes we end up needlessly complicating them - often obstructing the path to real understanding.


By attempting to understand, we prevent ourselves from it.


Additions are useful and are needed to understand and to teach and to transfer knowledge - this is true and always has been. But too frequently we go above and beyond - simply demonstrating how much it is we do not actually yet know.


It is the reason art is plagued by highfalutin language and pseudo-intellectuals - art is difficult to understand.


Miro knew however, the importance, the power and the difficulty in simplicity.


Winston Churchill said, “I apologize for writing such a long speech, I didn’t have time to write a shorter one.”


Simplicity takes time, simplicity is the bigger picture, simplicity is an objective view, it is the removal of your assumptions and the succinct and clear transmission of it. It requires experience and knowledge - two things that often art is without, especially that which treads new grounds and into the unknown.


My own practice is typical of this. With the myriad of choices one has with developing hybrid media works, mixing physical and virtual, digital and traditional, it is all too easy to get lost in minutiae and detail and multitudes of options and specific technicalities.


You must check yourself at all times to not get distracted by the noise.

You must see the bigger picture, see it simply.

You must remember that in the end, a line, a colour is all that is needed.



Alexander Calder - Arc of Petals 1941

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