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“Art resonates with the pain points of humanity”

Date: June 18, 2024 Time: 23:44:02

BURO columnist. and the art critic Anastasia Postrigay analyzes how the issues that concern humanity are reflected in the works of contemporary authors and how the spirit of the times affects the very personality of the artist.

BURE. columnist, art critic, gallery owner and rector of the Op Pop Art Academy

As you know, static and stability do not exist. Everything around is changing. Each minute. Including (and even especially) contemporary art. It photographically accurately reflects the world, and the reflection is found on the surface. And this is not to say that artists do not reflect deeply on their work. To understand their intention, it is important to know what matters to society in the here and now.

If we look at the art of 2023, we will see that its content resonates with humanity’s weak points. Ecology, relations between nature and man. Art in this matter, unlike Greta Thunberg, is not so scared and defines the problem more gracefully. For example, the painting by Alina Fedotova “Under the North Star.” A knowledgeable viewer will immediately notice the inconsistency. The North Star points to the North Pole, but penguins live in the South! With this play, the author reveals the problem of the artificial migration of species: many creatures, by the will or arbitrariness of man, are forced to live far from the places that nature has destined for them. Oleg Maslov in the film “Equilibrium” shows a person who strives for balance. This is a metaphor for the delicate balance of nature, which requires a special, delicate and careful attitude towards it.

Alina Fedotova, Under the Polar Star, 2021 Amoako Boafo, Yellow Beret, 2021

Another trend is abstract art. If a year ago figurative painting was at the peak of its popularity (Emily Mae Smith, Jonas Wood, Aliza Nisenbaum), now the attention of world connoisseurs and critics is attracted by young abstract artists Ho Kang, Emily Weiner, Keith Hopewell, Gwen O’Neil. Someone will ask: is abstraction really about the content, and not just about the form? Rather yes. The postmodern world allows abstract art to be a harmonious part of itself. 150 years ago, during the time of Aivazovsky and Shishkin, such art simply would not have been understood. At the beginning of the 20th century, they perceived it as a slap in the face to the taste of the public and eagerly searched for a deep meaning in it. Today he is already mainstream, and the attitude towards him is calm, contemplative. Of course, the viewer is ready to perceive such things. He was “warmed up” for this by the last 100 years of the development of art. And the fashion for abstract art is a reflection of today’s realities. Works without underlined meaning acquire a special halo of clarity and purity. In the context of the same figurative painting, which appeals more and more strongly to social problems, this is especially important.

The spirit of the times was also reflected in the personalities of the artists. The opportunity to share his work with the whole world, including placing it in the best galleries and museums, was given to those who had only dreamed of it before.

Gwen O’Neill, The Snowflakes Dance, 2022 Dana James, Warrior Princess, 2023

First, women. Of course, female artists existed in the Renaissance, and even earlier, but only today have they caught up with their male colleagues in terms of influence and numbers. And they even surpassed it: according to Artsy, among artists born after 1985, there are already noticeably more women: 63.6%. At the same time, the share of paintings painted by ladies on the world market is only 9.4%, but over the past ten years it has grown by one and a half times.

Secondly, representatives of exotic cultures. Again, we’ve already talked about the rise in popularity of Asian authors from Korea to Oman, who are attracting public interest in other regions like never before. The same applies to artists from South America and (especially) Africa – they are highly rated in the US and Europe. It would seem that there are enough of his teachers. But who are they? Increasingly, among American and European artists, there are original carriers of culture, and not just descendants of long-established immigrants. His work references the national motifs of his ancestors’ homeland, and migration often appears among the themes.

Oleg Maslov, Equilibrium, 2013 Chitra Ganesh, Untitled, 2021

As centuries ago, artists try to capture the mood in their works. In this sense, it is not so important what exactly becomes the object of your attention: the world is real or fictional, concrete or abstract. Both are a reflection of the inner state of the author, which is impossible without the influence of the outside world. Both are a glimpse of the time, refracted through the painter’s lens.

Flora Yukhnovich, Pretty thing, 2019

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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