Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where Is It Going?

As the art world advances through time many wonder where it is going.  To know where it is going it helps to know where it has been.  Too many people look at the contemporary art market and wonder what it is all about anymore.  Why are squiggles and squares considered art?  Since when is chocolate a viable medium in which to produce art?  Not all the art we see and appreciate as fine art was loved in its time.  We have all heard about how Van Gogh did not sell a painting during his life time.   But did you know that the impressionists (Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, etc.) were rejected from the Academy?  The academics hated impressionism.  The did not understand how it was art.  The colors were unrealistic and blotchy.  Ick!  And landscape paintings were totally hated.  Many landscapes contained tiny figurative scenes just be accepted.  But now, 200 years later, it is one of the most loved styles out there.  

To be noticed in the art world an artist must do something bold and new.  Impressionism was bold and new (avant-garde) but is now considered very traditional.  Art has been around for over 40,000 years, and artists are looking for more outrageous ways to gain acclaim.  One way to do this is to use a different medium to create art or use it in a different way.  Food, resin, plastics, cloth, wax, and even bodily fluids are being used to create artistic pieces.  The subject matter is changing too.  Ideas are the subjects of art.  Many pieces are social commentaries of our tumultuous times, and celebrity caricature are gaining in popularity.   So much has been done in the realm of art it is getting more and more difficult to find something that is inventive.  
As soon as Jackson Pollock abstracted abstract art in the 40's and Andres Serrano used his own blood in the 80's the question has been 'what can happen next?'  I have two thoughts.  

Technology is being used in all aspects of the art world: music, film, and fine art.  PhotoShop is very popular in creating works.  Many artists are using computer algorithms  to create abstract pieces.  I feel like a lot of the art in the next 100 years will be done by or with the use of computers and robotics.  

My other hypothesis is that artists will revert back to the more traditional styles.  Like different decades fashion coming back into style, I can see the comeback of Neo-Classicism and Romanticism.  It is difficult to gauge where art is headed, but one thing is for sure, it will always be there being both hated and LOVED!