Rem Koolhaas famously said that “one of our theories is that one can offset this excessive compulsion toward the spectacular with a return to simplicity”. The ‘return to simplicity’, as Rem Koolhaas describes, has grown to become an art form in its own right as the appreciation for detail and the previously overlooked elements of design are now those that are craved most. And if you’re in need of any persuading, take a look at the latest series of beautifully composed images by photographer Ben Thomas.
He has previously shrunk cities like New York and Shanghai with a tilt-shit lens for Cityshrinker and turned other cities on their head for Accession, but for his latest project, Chroma, Thomas challenges perceptions in a different way.
The flat textures and aqua-fuelled tones of Thomas’ urban landscapes in Chroma give them an abstract, cartoon quality but they are not illustrations inspired by graphic novels, they are in fact photographs. By experimenting and exploring perception, the Australian photographer purposely strips out the dark details of each image to control and dictate the vibrant colour. The result sees Thomas miniaturise some of the world’s iconic cities, New York and London, to their most basic colours and shapes to create an individual aesthetic that is clean, flat and ultimately, simplistic.
But that is exactly where the beauty of Thomas’ work lies; the diversity. Because of this cross-pollination of places the series is eclectic but nevertheless enchanting. The mismatch of styles, skylines and architecture collide into hyperreal representations of the cities we live in like never seen before.
Take a closer look at our favourites from the Chroma series in the image gallery below and be sure to follow Ben Thomas on Instagram, @b_e_n_t_h_o_m_a_s, for daily updates of joy.