An interview with Jon Setter
Jon Setter was born in Detroit, but currently lives in Sydney, where he holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the National Art School. In his works, Jon focuses on urban spaces and their architecture. In the process, he wanders the cities, looking for a perspective that most don’t see. In doing so, he specifically searches for repetitions, colour,
Material and surface combinations to find an abstract expression of space. Any peculiarity, however small, can play a role, even the main role, if only it is understood and represented. Jon has appeared on several shows in Sydney and Melbourne and has been awarded several photography awards. Most recently with the Life Framer and the International Color Awards.
Minimal Photography Down Under
GM: Sure, there are some readers who don’t know you yet. Would you like to introduce yourself briefly?
I’m Jon Setter. Born in Detroit, moved to Sydney four years ago and has been looking for new adventures since graduating to the Master of FineArts a month ago.
GM: What took you to Australia?
I never thought I’d live in Sydney once but I moved here for my partner and built a career of my own with photography.
GM: What makes your photography?
I try to see architecture and structures as simplified shapes, colors and lines to abstract them into geometric compositions.
GM: What does minimal photography mean to you?
Minimal photography for me is to take something normally complex or uninteresting and break it down into its constituents. In its basic shapes and colors, in order to reassemble it and make something new out of it.
In the hope it encourages people to perceive their environment differently. For me, minimal photography is a contemporary style because many photographers turn to it to break down the world and show how little much can be.
But it’s also about deceleration. I want to slow people down and make your own everyday life a new experience. Show them what they usually run past.
GM: Who or what has shaped you in your style so far?
I am very influenced by photographers who show the viewer alternative ways to look at architecture. Photographers who see and represent the everyday and the “normal” in a new way. There would be, for example: Aaron Siskind, the New Topographics movement (Stephen Shore, Lewis Baltz), The Düsseldorf School of Photography (Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Candida Hofer), Michael Wolf and Andrea Grutzner.
GM: Which of your works is your personal favorite?
I like my work “An Intersection of Lines and Colours”
GM: What makes this photograph so special to you?
Basically, it’s an architecture shot but it’s ambiguous.
A very good example of what I’m aiming for with my photography. They are the works in which different colours, surfaces and materials converge, work together and create a perfect balance and clean composition.
GM: Thank you Jon! We wish you continued success!