Kevin Briggs Photography

“Black and White No. 2”

Kevin Briggs

“Simplicity is nature’s first step, and the last of art.” - Philip James Bailey

As its name implies, Black & White No. 2 is a photograph which was captured years ago and represents one of my most cherished works. At the same time, it likewise represents a fine art piece which I decided to withhold from public view until this point in time (for reasons which I as the artist shall keep to myself). 

The essence of Black & White No. 2 is simplicity. As a landscape photographer, this work represents an artistic presentation of nature’s distillation of quintessence — things as they really are, in other words.

All of this may sound a bit too highbrow; the point being, Black & White No. 2 is my presentation of at least a certain aspect of nature “as it really is.”

Constantin Brâncuși was a Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer who made his career in France during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. On the subject of simplicity, he observed, “Simplicity is not an objective in art” — meaning that simplicity does not constitute the foremost ambition of an artist — “but one achieves simplicity despite one’s self by entering into the real sense of things.” (The emphasis is mine.)

The French novelist and memoirist George Sand — a pseudonym of course for Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin — delivered one of the most straightforward yet comprehensive statements on the subject of simplicity when she declared, “Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius.”

In short, simplicity is most often incredibly challenging to achieve. “That's been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex.” (Steve Jobs)