Aesthetic of joy: quiet + serene


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.



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.

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