In these times, windows are some of our only regular points of contact with the world outside our rooms. Inspired by the photograph by Wolfgang Tillmans entitled Window Caravaggio, how can we reimagine and find new joy in our spaces?
In this photograph, Tillmans has created a simple still life inside his window. A still life is an arrangement of objects, most often everyday things. This one includes a flower in a glass of water and some reproductions of paintings by another artist, Caravaggio. Artists have been making still lives for thousands of years. When artists arrange objects in a still life, they think about how the objects tell a story together and how they make a picture together with different colors, shapes, and textures.
1. Get inspired.
Take another look at this photograph by Wolfgang Tillmans entitled Window Caravaggio.
Can you imagine why Wolfgang Tillmans might have chosen these objects? What kind of story do they tell? Do the objects complement the window and the cityscape outside? (One thing complements another thing when it completes it or adds something special to what is already there. For example, frosting complements cake. Fudge sauce complements ice cream.) Does the scene bring up any emotions or personal memories for you?
2. Photograph a window still life of your own.
- Choose a window in your home as a starting place. Take a few minutes to just sit and observe the scene, before you create your still life. Stay quiet, listen to the sounds of the space, and take several deep breaths.
- Think about what’s beautiful or interesting about the view already. What do you have that might complement it?
- Think about how you feel when you’re in this spot or when you’re looking outside. Do you have any objects or pictures that might show that feeling?
- Gather some objects and arrange them on your window sill. Play with them for a little while until it looks just right. Wolfgang Tillmans photographed a variety of things -- tall things, short things, natural things and human-made things. Consider trying to find a pleasing balance between several different shapes, sizes, and kinds of objects.
- Take some photos of your window still life. Try a few different angles.
- Consider leaving it for a few hours, and taking another shot when the light is different.
- Choose one photograph that you like best. Share it with us by posting it to instagram and tagging #MCAFamilyDay
3. Show and Tell.
Join us on Saturday for a Show and Tell on Facebook of window photographs from members of the MCA community.