Monday, October 1, 2018

Contemporary Art - Comics and Abstraction

Contemporary art is one of the most interesting areas of art to delve into as an audience in my opinion. Much of older art and the other styles stick to strict rules or are bound to realism, but what is unique about contemporary art is that many of the artists have no rules at all. Not only can it be in a wide range of mediums, but a lot of the time the audience themselves have to consider whether the art is challenging or interesting. I believe that this allows for artists to express themselves in a much more personal way.
A lot of the class knows already my interest and draw towards comic book art, but one piece that I admire is how the art style has been able to model the characters story and background. At their start in the 1950s, comics did not deviate far from the newsprint style of basic grids, with more dialogue than imagery. As the medium grew in popularity, so did the artists creativity. In what is considered to be the Silver Age of comic books (1950-1971), many of the artists started to take inspiration from different art movements, most notably surrealism which helped to illustrate the bizarre and unique worlds that the characters live. As the characters as well started to become more well known, the artists could rely less on attention grabbing graphics, and the artist could fully explore their own artistic representation of the main character’s story. While this medium is primarily used for story telling, the artist was able to express themselves and utilize their own artistic vision to tell the story they wanted in their own way.

Another way that contemporary artists have been able to express themselves without needing to follow any rules is through abstract art, one of the most famous being Jackson Pollock. While at a glance some might consider his art to be scribbles and nonsense, it is far more than that. As an audience, you can feel the emotion through each stroke or splatter, and each one feels like it has a reason to be there. As a whole the entirety of his pieces complete the picture of the feeling Pollock was trying to convey through his art. While there might not be a traditional subject, or foreground, middle-ground, and background, the same emotion that any other traditional piece of art would attempt to convey is still all there. As a whole abstract art is a very interesting study into the evolution of visual art, and I believe an important push into expanding the field.

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