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What Is Contemporary Art?

Art that is made today can be called contemporary art. This includes sculpture, photography, and installation. Although this may seem simple, details can be a little fuzzy as different people’s interpretations of “today” may vary greatly. The exact beginning point of the genre’s existence is still a matter of debate. Most art historians agree that the end of modern art, or modernism, was somewhere between late 1960s and early 1970s.

This art is developed through experimentation. Contemporary artists are provocative and challenging. They combine the old and the new, the two-dimensional and three-dimensional. Contemporary artists use the past to understand the present to create art that looks forward.

Discover contemporary art from emerging artists and some of today’s most prominent names in the art market. Explore our ever-expanding selection.

The history of Contemporary Art

The timeline of contemporary art is still a subject of much debate. Some believe contemporary art was created in the 1950s. Others argue that it only became a reality in the late 1970s. Pop Art, Post-Modernism, and Abstract Expressionism may technically be classified as either one or the other depending on when modern art stopped, and contemporary art started.

Modern and contemporary art may seem to be the same period. However, they are distinct movements. Contemporary art is a result of technological advances that have embraced video art and installation and painting, sculpture, and photography.

Contemporary Art and The Digital Age

The art form of contemporary art is always changing. New technology is being used by more artists to improve their creativity. Code-generated artwork can create anything, from abstract pieces to futuristic vector pictures. Artificial intelligence is used by some artists to create hyperrealist portraits. This allows them to test the boundaries of reality and imagination.

Since 2020, crypto art has seen a rise in popularity. Digital artist Beeple’s landmark sale at Christie’s of his NFT college for $69 million is a sign that more artists and institutions are beginning to see the potential in this type of art. Digital artists can now monetize work previously hard to sell with crypto art. Artists who create ephemeral pieces, such as performances or murals, can now be compensated and collected in a previously impossible way.

Contemporary artists

Takashi Murakami and super flat artists

The role of the contemporary artist is played by Takashi Murakami, a Japanese painter and sculpturer. Takashi Murakami, the pioneer of superflat, combines elements from both contemporary and traditional art. His work reflects the ‘flatness’ of consumer culture and its temporary existence.Takashi’s work is full of references, including nods towards Andy Warhol. Takashi also frequently depicts his signature character, Mr. Dob, in works like And then, how’s it done…I changed. …. Yesterday is what I was.

Takashi has collaborated with everyone, from Marc Jacobs and Pharrell Williams. His style is instantly recognizable. Chiho Aoshima, Aya Takano and Aya Takano are two other super flat artists who collaborate with Takashi.

David Hockney’s influence

David Hockney is a well-known contemporary artist and one of the most influential British artists in the last century. David Hockney’s work has been exhibited at the prestigious London institutions Tate Modern, Royal Academy of Arts and other venues over the last few years. David is constantly evolving his style and working method. This can be seen in his iPad drawings.

What’s Next For Contemporary Art?

Some of the artists we’ve looked at might no longer be around or unable practice their art. Many of these greats like Ai Wei Wei or Jeff Koons continue to create avantgarde sculptures, painting, installations, and performance art.

These famous artists are not the only ones who have inspired the world, but many new contemporary artists. They have not only put their spins on traditional forms such as painting, sculpture, or installation, but they’ve also made it popular to use unexpected forms of art like embroidery, origami and tattoos. This proves the infinite possibilities of this all-encompassing genre.

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