Minimalism in the arts is uses a little elements as possible, to get a certain effect. Artistic minimalism’s period began in de 60’s and 70’s. Most recognizable artists include Donald Judd, Agnes Martin. Minimalism was a reaction against abstract expressionism. One of my personal favorite minimalist artists is Piet Mondriaan.
In music, Philip Glass is notable for his minimalist tendencies. Yves Klein dared to experiment with his 20 minute sustained note followed by a 20 minute silence in his Monotone symphony.
I’m going to talk much more about the lifestyle now, but wanted to show you that it is a broad spectrum, also found in arts.
More people now are looking to becoming minimalists. Recently there has been a documentary, looking at the minimalist culture, mostly in America, called Minimalism: A documentary about the important things.
One of the first minimalists in our western world, was Diogenes, famous for living inside his clay wine jar. He lived the lifestyle he prophessed. He was against money, against all the conventions of the time and he also mocked Alexander the great in public.
Some become minimalist because of religious reason, like Leo Tolstoy and Mohandas Ghandi.
Others become minimalist because life is to overwhelming. Buy this, buy that, conform here, conform there. It seems as if our society is only happy, when it can buy things it doesn’t actually need, to impress people we don’t actually like, with things we can’t actually afford, like something Tyler Durden would say. Tyler Durden prophessed the minimalist lifestyle in the book Fight club. In a way, Elliott from Mr. Robot also is minimalist. His appartment isn’t filled to the brim with stuff. He doesn’t need to conform to society and only has what he needs.
Henry David Thoreau, the notable author of the book Walden, which chronicles his philosophy and lifestyle in a small hut, is considered as one of the bibles of minimalists everywhere. Henry David Thoreau chronicled his two-year experiment next to Walden Pont and made it into one of the best known minimalist books.
Minimalism now is best summarized by Leo Babauta’s quote: “Identify the essential, eliminate the rest.” This can be done with people around you, as you are the average of the people you surround yourself with. As well as with things you own, owning only the best things that you can buy, and eliminating everything you don’t need, so you don’t need excess space or stuff. Only making place for the things really important in your life.
This article is the introduction to my own struggles with minimalism and how I try to live it. I will make minimalism faux-pas, but it’s a learning process and a journey. Everybody’s minimalism is their own, nobody can tell you how to be a minimalist, except you yourself, as you define your own minimalist ways.