Contemporary art and its forms

contemporary art

Contemporary art is a currently practised form of art that has emerged in recent years. It is a movement that arose new technology, concepts and aesthetics which were not available to artists during the first half of the 20th century.

Contemporary art differs from modern art as it was first created after World War II and at a time when the world had been irrevocably changed. Modern art attempted to reflect these changes and a new way of looking at the world by attacking old conventions. The modern artist used his work as a means to express political, social and other radical ideas about how they saw their world – not necessarily as a welcome statement from society, but what they believed should be familiar to those who would look at their work.

By contrast, contemporary art is more accessible to a wider range of people because it has become less confrontational and more aesthetically pleasing. Although contemporary artists express themselves through abstract forms using new technology or media, they are not pushing for any particular message – at least none that you can put your finger on. The main aim of contemporary art is to create something that makes the observer feel something, whether it’s an emotion or just plain confusion.

The forms of contemporary art vary greatly; some are based on more traditional forms of art, for example, abstract painting and sculpture, while others use more modern forms such as installation, performance and video.

Abstract painter Mark Rothko

A close up of an animal

Abstract painter Mark Rothko is one of the most famous names in contemporary art. He was known for his paintings that feature large blocks of colour that appear to blend into each other to create an image. His paintings are so popular because they have no real subject matter, which means that the viewer can interpret them in their own way.

Contemporary artists use their artwork to challenge or question reality by creating artworks that could never exist in the natural world. For example, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama fills rooms with soft sculptures and giant pumpkins. She also paints polka dots on her naked body and then acts out surreal scenes with other performers in order to create dreamlike artworks that could only exist in the imagination.

Another type of contemporary artist is one who works with cutting edge technology to produce work that people might not be familiar with. For example, there are artists who design lighting systems or music that is played through speakers or headphones designed just for their artwork. Some even go as far as creating new machines that are used to make artworks – French artist Francois Willème invented the machine called “the Dessinateur” which was pressed into service at the turn of the 19th century to produce detailed portraits using nothing but paper pulp.

Contemporary artists

Background pattern

Many contemporary artists also use their artwork to criticize society and its way of thinking. For example, American artist Paul McCarthy is known for his giant inflatable sculptures that resemble objects from the natural world such as a pumpkin or a life-size model of a butt plug. He makes these irreverent creations to question how people see the world and what they think about basic human functions.

Although some forms of contemporary art can be very confusing – both for the viewer and the artist themselves – this type of work is more accessible than modern art because it does not require any specialist knowledge or understanding to appreciate it. Many of the most famous contemporary artists are ones who incorporate popular culture into their work by creating pieces using new digital technology that anyone can relate to.

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