Minimalism / Minimalismo

Finding beauty in simplicity is a yearning embedded in human nature. Minimalism -as an expression of simplicity- lives in the most unexpected places.

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Venezuelan colonial house opens its main door into a street, Coro, Estado Falcón (circa 1993)

The minimalist aesthetics consists in paring down design elements. We think of “minimalism” as a relatively new idea, born in the 60’s. But “finding beauty in simplicity” is as old as humans.  Santa Ana de Coro, an enchanting town in Estado Falcón, Venezuela and a World Site Heritage designated by UNESCO, is an unexpected example of architectural minimalism.  Walking down the cobblestone streets of Coro, my longing for clean, open spaces is satisfied and I am overjoyed with the simple lines and rustic walls of colonial houses. The “House of the Iron Windows”, the “House of the Sun”, the “House of the Hundred Windows”, the San Francisco church… ah, a truly peaceful Venezuelan town with its turquoise skies, kind and friendly people and unending miles of golden dunes!  For a moment, I am blinded by the aesthetics of the essentials and its promise of a simpler life. It is only a desert mirage, a passing feeling, a thought destined to die. Minimalism is natural indeed, just as prodigality is and these two often co-exist*

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Colonial house window, Coro, Estado Falcón (circa 1993)

La estética minimalista consiste en simplificar los elementos de diseño. Pudiéramos creer que el minimalismo es una idea reciente, nacida en los años 60. Sin embargo, la búsqueda de la belleza en lo simple es de data tan vieja como el hombre mismo. Santa Ana de Coro, una ciudad encantadora en el Estado Falcón, Venezuela, y patrimonio de la humanidad designado por la UNESCO, ejemplifica exactamente una arquitectura minimalista. Caminando por las calles empedradas de Coro, mi deseo por espacios amplios y limpios se satisface y mi amor por las lineas simples y las paredes rústicas se colma.  La “Casa de las Ventanas de Hierro”, la “Casa del Sol”, la “Casa de las Cien Ventanas”, la “Iglesia de San Francisco”… Coro es una ciudad apacible, rodeada de kilómetros y kilómetros de  médanos dorados, ciudad de clima seco y cielos turquesas… Por un instante, la estética de lo esencial y su promesa de una vida simple me ciegan. Se trata sólo de un espejismo del desierto, un sentimiento pasajero, un pensamiento destinado a morir. El minimilismo es tan natural como la prodigalidad. Y, frecuentemente, los dos co-existen. *

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Author: Constantino

A Chemical Engineer born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He has worked for the oil refining industry in threes countries under different capacities. With photography and writing as hobbies, he has traveled the world (and has still to settle somewhere). Loves movies, Latin Jazz, black coffee and red wine... Kampai!

6 thoughts on “Minimalism / Minimalismo”

  1. What a clean and precise way to write. Congratulations Constantino.
    Your description took me back to memories of cobble stone streets in other towns in Venezuela, especially to a memory of a class trip during our years in the San Agustin school when we went to visit the House of Simon Bolivar. I may have those pictures. If and when I find them, I will share with you for another quick trip to memory lane. Thank you Badra!

    Alejandro Valdes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, pana! Yes, I remember those trips to The House of Simon Bolívar…. I would definitely love to see those pictures if you can find them! Venezuela is such a beautiful place, it is a shame it is mismanaged so badly! Recibe un abrazo, Valdes!

      Like

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