Now that I'm focusing so much on design, I start to appreciate images that before wouldn't really appeal to me. Like this one, shot in 1923 by Jaromir Funke. The play of the shapes and light is really intriguing and soothing in a way. The longer I look at it, the more I wonder how Mr Funke set up the scene, what made him want to take this image etc. I googled more of his work, and I think observing it may just be the answer to my dreadful designing skills :-)
I like how in his compositions Funke pays as much attention to the play of light and shadows as to the shape of the objects themselves. Doing so, he highlights the lines of these elements and their specific character. It brings a mysterious quality to everyday objects.
Since I have only scratched the surface of the meaning of abstract art, it's hard to make any metaphisical conclusions about it. But I do think that this type of work conveys the idea that objects can change meaning simply by the way they are looked at, in this case, the way the light shines on it, it's not just the substance that defines it.