The nexus where the photographic, the photograph, design, and art meet, might look something like Marcus Cederberg’s images.
I spent much of my youth traveling to see my grandparents in West Palm Beach, Florida. The art deco, the pastels, and the sun-baked flatness of it all left indelible impressions on me as a child. Perhaps this is what initially attracted me to Marcus’s work. The clean and fantastically open feel which seems utopian and magical, not quiet located anywhere but very familiar.
The vantage points and distances are unique and, at least for me, create a disorienting sense of where realism and fantasy intersect. There is something romantic, vibrant, and playful in Marcus’s work, likely this has to do with his subjects and the consistency of vision found through his palette and design sense.
As I’ve written before on the site when covering others’ work, the photographic and the art of unfettered purist photography have been in dialogue for the better part of the century. I like it when this dialogue is refreshed, such as with Marcus’s work.
I am reminded of moments in films by Hitchcock, Wenders and other mid-century directors, and of the escapist design art found in a well-executed travel poster, and yet these images are distinctly uncluttered and open to interpretation and projection. That is what makes them mesmerizing images and playful photographs. The escape is not pointing us to anywhere in particular! I am not sure where I would end up if I fell into one of Marcus’s portals and that is a good thing.
Negative space, open planes, contrast, and design blocks of colorways interact with clean consideration showing forethought as well as a concise understanding and respect for the viewer. Minimalism is the same whether it is in a film narrative, a meal, fashion, or photography; if it is poorly considered, then it is just empty and dull. These images escape that trap by leaving us hanging in a liminal space of candy colors and dreamy heights by design. The curious gestures and question marks that resides in his images are where the art of the photo meet the photographic.
Marcus’s work can help inspire our design sense by illustrating the components of a successful minimalist photograph, from conception to the post work needed, and the guts it takes to achieve it with fun and full conviction.