Art is the deliberate use of colors, forms, sounds, and other elements in a manner that appeals to the senses or emotions. The word “art” is often used to refer to works of visual art, such as paintings, sculptures, and drawings. However, art is also present in other forms such as dance, music, and narrative storytelling. As an art student or a person who greatly values any art piece, you will learn the underlying principles that govern the creation and appreciation of visual art and learn how to use these principles to create your original works of art.
What Is Contemporary Art?
Contemporary art is a term used to describe art created during the period extending roughly from the 1960s to the present day. The term is typically used to refer to an art, created in the Western world that departed from tradition and challenged traditions. The term “contemporary art” may be pretty vague, but it roughly refers to art being created today and its historical context. While some art is created in a studio, it can also be created in public spaces. The result is a range of exciting and innovative mediums, including video art, performance art, and street art.
Contemporary Art in Action
Contemporary art crosses boundaries, defies traditions, and pushes the limits of the ordinary and the expected. The creations of contemporary artists are showcased in museums, galleries, and public spaces all over the world. Many of these public art installations are designed to make viewers question their surroundings, to see things differently, to take a moment just to stop and look around. We’ve made a list of some of the world’s famous contemporary artists and their most interesting public art installations to show you what we mean:
- Damien Hirst’s “Spot Painting” – The term “spot painting” was coined by Damien Hirst and first shown in the spin-off exhibition of the 1990 Freeze exhibition where Hirst first showed his dot and spin paintings. In 2011, Damien Hirst created a new series of spot paintings, which are 60-foot-long, single-stroke geometric shapes, colored in vibrant shades of green, yellow, and orange.
- Banksy, “Girl with Balloon” – Banksy (whose real name is not known) is a graffiti artist from England who has become known for producing satirical street art. The Girl with Balloon is a stencil that depicts a young female member of the Occupy London protest, holding a red heart-shaped balloon. It is one of Banksy’s most iconic works and has been voted as the “most Iconic piece of street art in Britain” by Channel 4, and has sold for as high as $1.8 million at auction.
- Ai Weiwei, “Remembering” – one of the most internationally renowned artists of our time, with a career including installations, performance, social activism, and more. His work is not afraid to take a stand in the face of injustice, and even if you don’t agree with the message, his art is a fascinating look into how one man harnesses his power and celebrity to speak truth to power. His famous work entitled “Remembering” was created to pay homage to those young victims of the earthquake in Sichuan province.
- Yayoi Kusama, “Infinity Mirror Room” – is one of the most famous living Japanese artists, but it’s the immersive installations she’s known for that have drawn the most attention. For example, her “Infinity Mirror Rooms” recreate an infinity-like effect by surrounding the viewer with mirrors and LED lights, transporting them to another dimension. The heart of the piece is the central room, which is covered in mirrors on all sides so that when one steps inside it, the interior and exterior merge. The room also houses sculptures of flowers, which play a part in the exhibit.
- Jeff Koons, “Balloon Dogs” – The Balloon Dog (Orange) is a huge balloon sculpture that artist Jeff Koons has made of a black balloon inflated to monumental scale, a companion piece to his iconic sculpture of two black balloons inflated to monumental scale. The sculpture is 9 feet tall, or over 8 feet tall if you look at it from the right angle, and it is made of black Mylar, a type of plastic that is commonly used in balloons. From his collection of inflatables, Koons chose the balloon, which evoked the memory of how his dog looked at the moment of its death.
At first, contemporary art may seem intimidating, but it’s very enjoyable to explore, and there are plenty of ways to do it. Some people prefer to enjoy art in galleries, but there are a growing number of other options to choose from. You can now find the art in the most unexpected places.