Contemporary Art and Social Narration
To me, contemporary art is fickle. Most of the time, at a museum I am left scratching my head saying, “how would anyone ever consider a simple, wooden chair art?” But every so often, I feel a connection, a feeling deep down almost as if I relate to painting, or a sketch. To me, art is all about what a person can say without using words. Contemporary art just specifies a time period. And the trends of today’s time period range everywhere from instillation art exhibits to pop-culture artwork, centered around brand names. For example, painter Oliver Gal has built an empire around selling paintings and prints that focus on brands like Chanel, Gucci, Hermés, etc. The subjects of her paintings are light and fun, including puppies wearing sunglasses; designer fire extinguishers; or pricey handbags. Gal’s style is fun and relatable to all ages which I believe really encompasses contemporary artwork. Sometimes, I feel the subject matter of Gal’s artwork is a bit superficial, however, I admire her use of color and pop culture.
My personal work centers around more observational drawings. Often times I draw things that just catch my eye; typically “forgotten objects.” For example, rotary phones or old cameras. Recently though, I have been experimenting with more pop culture artwork. I try and push myself to combine some of the trends from above with my go to styes. The intersection of the two are both mentally interesting and visually stimulating to me. Contemporary art is geared towards recognition; People consider the insinuations of a piece of artwork now as opposed to simply judging just how realistic a face can be drawn. The lasting impressions a singular composition can have on a person are so powerful.
I think one contemporary artist who I admire and relate to incredibly is the Spanish sketch artist Pez. This artist focuses on social themes, in an eye-catching way. Similar to my artwork, Pez typically centers his artwork around one central focal point. His sketches are typically plays on every day objects, but with a modern twist. The meaningful implications of the drawings tell a narrative… they imply social injustice, environmental detriment, and other pressing societal issues.