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Why Abstract Photography Is Trending
Get inspired 04 Oct 2023

Why Abstract Photography Is Trending

Abstract photography is a branch of photography that creates a visual effect on an image using processes like focusing, framing, retouching and editing the photograph in post-processing. Compared to traditional photography, abstract photography, also known as experimental photography, emphasizes shape, form and color over concrete subjects. As technology advances, artists have been able to further experiment with abstract photography techniques. And with the rise of social media, artists can easily share their work online. Continue reading to learn more about the trending art form of abstract photography!

Joachim Romain, Flower H3, 2021, abstract photography
Joachim Romain, Flower H3, 2021, available on Artsper

The abstract form of photography is appealing to artists and admirers for the creative freedom involved in the process. Photographers may experiment with blurring, shadows, lighting, textures, and unexpected forms. An abstract picture can isolate a fragment of an ordinary image to remove it from its original context and give it a surrealist edge. The image is often created with traditional photographic material such as analog or digital cameras, dark rooms, and computers. Artists can also manipulate and alter the film in order to achieve the desired effect.

The History of Abstract Photography

Abstract photography is a more recently acknowledged art form. However, similar images have existed for a long period of time. In 1842, John William Draper used a spectroscope to create unusual photographs for the time. The device dispersed light beams and produced a new phenomenon. Although he was only experimenting and thought of the result as more of a scientific discovery, Draper accidentally opened the door for innovative photography styles.

In the early 20th century, the rise of Surrealism and Cubism paintings paved the way for abstract photography. Following the Salon d’automne in 1903 and the emergence of artists such as Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, abstract photography became recognized as an art form. Soon after, Europe became the epicenter of conceptual photography in the 1920s and artists continued to experiment with abstraction. 

Nicolas Dubreuille, Eleni, 2018, abstract photography
Nicolas Dubreuille, Eleni, 2018, available on Artsper

Post-processing became more central to photographic works in the 60s and the 70s. Eventually, the growing popularity of computers in the 90s and the 2000s opened up infinite possibilities for creating original work. Today, technology continues to rapidly advance, paving the way for new techniques of abstract photography. 

Abstract Photography Today

With such a variety of technology available for artists to use, there is a possibility for a variety of results. Since photographs can be taken with the tap of a button on smartphones, photography lovers can experiment themselves with accessible techniques that already exist on phones. However, artists may also choose to incorporate more complicated techniques. For example, many abstract photographs require several processes and intricate layering. 

Sophie Derrick, Close to nothing (Pink), 2015, abstract photography
Sophie Derrick, Close to nothing (Pink), 2015, available on Artsper

Abstract photography embraces common themes such as architecture and the natural world, but in a way that challenges our normal perception of these subjects. The distortion of subjects is eye-catching and allows artists to explore their creative freedom. As an art form, abstract photography is always evolving alongside the development of technology. Even Artificial Intelligence opens new doors for abstract photographers. Some of our current favorite abstract photographers include Anna Levesh, Javier Rey, Justin Chan, Luuk de Haan, and Christopher Barraja just to name a few–all available on Artsper

Luuk de Haan, big nothing 71, 2021, abstract photography
Luuk de Haan, big nothing 71, 2021, available on Artsper

Don’t miss Art Photo BCN!

Artsper is pleased to invite you to Art Photo BCN, the innovative Photography Festival and Fair in the lively city of Barcelona. During the tenth edition of this event, 20 exclusive exhibitors will showcase their photography in the welcoming atmosphere. Curated by Vicenç Boned, the fair will promote and strengthen the work of emerging talents and create conversation surrounding the art form. You can be sure to find the newest in abstract photography by talented artists at Art Photo BCN, taking place 26th- 29th October. 

art photo barcelona
Art Photo Bcn
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