Aesthetic of joy: quiet + serene

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Stephanie and Mav of 3191 have this serenely joyful aesthetic that always leaves me inspired. I think it’s because their  lenses reveal the intense pleasure in simple things, with a focus on contrasts and textures. Their photos become like abstract compositions, with ordinary elements balanced like a squares in a Mondrian painting or steel plates in Calder mobile.

It’s a great example of a different kind of aesthetic of joy. Not the high-energy, celebratory kind I often embrace here on the blog, but a quieter version. There is a sense of domestic peace in their images, but the emotion I get is not sedate contentment, it’s a slow rising tide of delight, a buoyant energy simmering just below the surface, like a pot of water just before the crescendo to boil.

I loved this back to school post by Mav. I had exactly the same sentiments when I was going back to school. School supplies were the balm that soothed the nerves and stoked the anticipation. They’re just so beautiful too.

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Hey, Guess What?

The Aesthetics of Joy is now a book! Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness is now available.

Learn more

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