Monday, November 26, 2007
David Mendelsohn - Master Of Simplicity
David Mendelsohn's work is a master's composition of vivid color, finely proportioned space, surrealist sculpture and outlandish humor—plus everything in between
Known for unconventional photography in a field that prefers convention, master photographer David Mendelsohn has fine-tempered a commercial and fine-art career without ever betraying a dedication to his own sensibilities. Mendelsohn's style is a kind of surrealist minimalism and, as you can readily see from his work, the real problem with trying to define him is that it's hard to find only one way to sum him up. After all, there's Mendelsohn's mantra: “There is nothing quite so complicated as simplicity.”
By keeping the elements of his compositions simple, plainly evident in his commissioned work, Mendelsohn is able to turn basic everyday subjects into complex statements. Colors and patterns come together in a bright landscape of primary hues. Human legs and pink Cadillacs and saturated skies juxtapose against each other in presentations that somehow end up inspiring a level of visual complexity that just shouldn't be that deep.
“Minimalism, surrealism and even cannibalism—all have been used to describe my work,” says Mendelsohn. “In a sense, I work in abstractions, condensing a fairly complex world into small, digestible portions.”
In his previous life as a graphic designer, Mendelsohn notes that he did his best to distill content to its most direct form—a strong visual impact without any distracting elements.
“I wanted to engage the imagination with the power of graphics,” he says. “I wanted you to steal the piece off a wall or tear it from a publication. I wanted to stop traffic.”
When asked to define his compositions, Mendelsohn tries not to place too much emphasis on constructing meaning. “There isn't much to be explained in my work. There are no intentional metaphors. They're simply photographs. Objects in space. I'm always fascinated when someone finds some form of narrative or symbolism in a piece. They're actually filtering through aspects related to their own backgrounds, which tends to, in turn, intrigue me, as most people are interesting.”