Modern art can take on many different forms. In this way, it is one of the most versatile times for art, without a rigid definition of what types of projects should fit within the umbrella of that overall category. Artists have a lot of freedom if they want to use old ideas and tactics, stick to merely new ways of thinking, or combine everything to come up with something that is new and interesting. One of the best ways to see what is happening in the art world right now is to check out some of the artists who are influencing it.
First, you need to consider the provocative and often shocking works of artists like Damien Hirst. He is an English artist who has made a name for himself by constantly pushing the envelope. He seeks to surprise people with his work, catching them off guard and making them remember him. In this way, his work utilizes the principles that are used in television commercials. There is a reason why commercials that are on during the Super Bowl are always funny or surprising.
Advertisers just want the image to stick in your mind. Hirst is doing the exact same thing with art, often using dark imagery or ideas to do it.
For example, consider his work that is titled “The Golden Calf.” This is a reference to the calf that the Israelites created in a story from the Torah, worshipping it at the foot of the mountain while Moses spoke with God. This story is still well-known today, so Hirst is starting out with something that the audience can understand. The calf in question is preserved with a solution of formaldehyde. It then has horns and hoofs that are made from real gold, forming quite the contrast and certainly shocking the viewers.
On the other side of things, you can look at the work of Mona Kuhn. She has become well-known for her work with nudes, using the medium of photography. She takes tasteful pictures of nude men and women – something that has been the subject of art, through photography and painting, for centuries – and then prints them off in huge sizes. Part of the appeal is this size alone, which really makes the work stand out. While this is also striking to a viewer, it is not shocking and dark like Hirst’s work, and it also deals with more classical ideas and themes. She is portraying things that have been done for many years in a new way.
As is shown, modern art encompasses almost anything that you can think of. People are obsessed with putting their own spin or their own take on something. Much of the art is about innovation, building on what has come before to come up with something that is fresh and new. It will be very interesting to see where modern art goes in the years to come since the variety of works could trend in almost any direction.