I chose to emulate Aaron Siskind for the Abstract photography style, also known as Abstract expressionism.
Aaron Siskind lived in a period of abstract expressionism. Abstract expressionism is a period of time around the 1940’s where art was really focused on making photographs that looked similar to abstract paintings. Abstract expressionism emerged during the chaos of World War II because photographers wanted to portray some sort of hope and show a different, bold style of photography.
Siskind was one of the first abstract expressionist photographers. Siskind formed his photographs to look like paintings and to make his art something different. Siskind’s abstract photography is so different from any other because he includes so many different details and hidden meanings into the image.
Siskind believed all of his photographs represented something other than just the subject itself, as if his images were a metaphor for something deeper. Siskind’s images were always peppered with little metaphors and deeper meanings so that they always managed to be much more than just a picture. Siskind never used color in his abstract pictures so that the viewer could focus on the textures, contrast and subject of the image and not have any colors to distract.
Siskind always zoomed in tightly to his subject and mostly focused on sidewalk markings, graffiti and torn posters. Siskind would position a small section of graffiti marks off center and focus on the asymmetrical lines and the contrast to the dark background. He loved emphasizing line and tone in his work.
Siskind differs greatly from Ansel Adams because unlike Adams, Siskind zoomed in very tightly to his subject and didn’t focus on any of the surrounding area. Adams always made sure to include a lot of landscape into his pictures with a lot of different natural elements; contrasting this style Siskind almost never included the scene around his pictures.
I have included some of my favorite of Siskind’s work below, you can click here if you want to see a full gallery of his work.