A few years back I had very different tastes in fashion, design and the arts. I knew what I loved – and I particulary knew what I disliked. I always drew massive inspiration from what I loved. If some design element caught my eye, chances were it would make a cameo appearance in my next composition. Observing and combining proven design formulas with my own signature style. It worked pretty well.
I was involved in some exciting jobs that were creatively satisfying. It wasn’t until I was given a book on Suprematism that things started to really make sense. For years I hated this art movement. The colour palettes and overall culture of the movement made me feel uncomfortable. One particular day – (I would like to say it was for some profound reason – but it wasn’t) I decided to spend time reviewing this book. I spent a few hours looking at multiple paintings and sculptural images. Something started to happen… I found myself trying to understand what I disliked about this work. At this point – the compositions started to pull apart. The positive spaces, the negative spaces – this style of work has an equal balance of power that occurs in both elements in the picture plane and particulary in the spaces around.
I could easily mouth off about it for ages – the point being, I made the effort to understand what it was I disliked about the aesthetics of this work which actually made me see it differently. By understanding the negative, a whole new space of positive began to emerge. So these days I really make an effort to discover what my dislikes are. If I can define what it is about something I dislike – it often exposes what I like in return. Discovering the negative may actually be a positive step forward.