– About, abstractconformity.com
It is difficult to recall when, or how, I first came across Abstract Conformity on Instagram. What I do remember about seeing John’s square photography for the first time is thinking, “do people really live like this?” I knew in that moment that I was going to become a fan of his work. What I didn’t know was that the man behind the lens was a pretty stellar character as well.
When I had initially considered possible collaborators for this new series, one of my first visions was of a home on the sea. With the success of last years series, I knew that I had big shoes to fill. I wanted to bring in artistic people that not only lived a completely different life from my own, but ones that inspired me creatively. I approached John to take part in this new venture, fully expecting to be turned down. His answer was an immediate and resounding yes. He would do it.
A dozen emails later, still amazed by his kindness, with an even bigger appreciation for his photography skills, and a better understanding of where he comes from, this post is and was finally ready to be published. I hope that each and everyone of you enjoy John’s Home as much as I do.
My brick & mortar, is located on the outskirts of Houston, TX. For 6 months out of the year my body resides aboard a cargo ship somewhere on the planet’s waterways. Due to traveling, I’ve actually slept more in my bed aboard the ship than in my bed with a mailing address.
Home is a location that evokes comfort and safety. It’s a place where others are welcomed in to share in those feelings, giving the place its title of a home rather than a location. A home need not be of brick and mortar or even stationary for me. I’ve had the opportunity to share with people in their homes across the globe from far-fetched mansions to a room lit by candles hardly larger than the bed frame. In those moments, they were all proud to welcome me in to their “home.” It was their comfort to be shared with others that made it a home too.
As a society, we change our clothes each season depending on the evolving weather, but we also alter our wardrobes with new trends. This is seen easily as we move amongst one another so why do homes remain stagnant for such long periods of time? Design aesthetics are a reflection of your mood, which for me change less frequently as the weather but they do change so I kept two tips at the forefront.
First, the space must have the ability for people to move about and interact with both their body and their eyes. If it’s overwhelming, you miss out on the purpose of the elements from distraction which then detracts from the comfort. Second, the items must serve the purpose of telling their own story. This can be a family heirloom to a vintage set of barware to a well crafted gun cabinet, which also happens to be a family heirloom. I’m intrigued by so many various “styles” that if I stick with the first two steps they seem to flow.
For me, all of it is replaceable. They evoke their own emotions and I’m not hoping to lose anything, but once they’ve been in my life the memory is contained within me forever, so the physical element could vanish but the memory of that experience never will.
It’s difficult to narrow to just one, so I will give three for various purposes. My Pendleton blanket, although two years old is a prized piece. It warms me on the couch, lays out on beaches for picnics and travels to globe with me on the ship. That blanket is comfort in more than just physical. My turntable connects generations with its ability to produce sound. I have records from my grandparents up to shows my wife and I saw two months ago. Music is the soundtrack to live and the tangible aspect of the turntable allows me to slow down and appreciate those tunes. Finally, a cast iron skillet that my great grandmother owned is vital. Just as its fed generations of my family, we’ve carried it on road trips to feed others. When I’m not on the ship, it resides on the stuff with extensive use beginning with my morning bacon and eggs just as my great-grandmother cooked for us when we visited.
My current brick & mortar is going through changes as we bought it at 24 and now at 30 our values have clearly changed to more purpose beyond filling a void in the house.