Art Trends: Passing Phases That Leave A Lasting Impact
Are trends meant to be fleeting? Or do they leave a lasting impact? Certain art trends may have seemed temporary in the past but played an influential role in the development of ‘art’ as we know it today. Art trends define the decisions that artists make during the creative process. As art influences everything around us, the art trends of 2023 did not stay restricted to traditional art but moved beyond it into interior design, fashion, architecture, graphics, UI/UX design, etc.
2024 will begin in just four months, and new art trends will emerge. Here are five art trends that gained popularity in 2023 and are here to stay.
1. Mysticism And The Element Of Fantasy
Mysticism is an art trend that involves making references to spiritual and religious beliefs or motifs. It can also allude to astrology, divination, and other occult practices. It is one of the most popular art trends of 2023. Popular design elements include the sun, moon, stars, the usage of fine and thin lines, eyes, pyramids, conspiracy theories, and other subject matter that borders the occult.
Surrealist artists such as Spanish painter Remedios Varo have recently received international recognition. Varo’s work was displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago nearly 60 years after her death. Her paintings blend scientific references with mysticism. The auction house Christie’s held ‘The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale’ in February 2023, displaying 32 lots of surreal and mystic art work. This sale further increased the popularity of mysticism and occult references in art. The trend also began to show up as a theme in graphic design and fashion design.
2. Abstract Paintings
Abstract art is painting through forms, shapes, colours, textures, etc. without defining the subject of the painting. Instead of portraying reality, symbolism and stylized painting techniques are used. Abstract paintings gained popularity this year as large abstract paintings began to influence home decor trends. Abstract paintings encourage creativity and involvement and also offer a personal experience in art exhibitions, as everyone may interpret the same painting in different ways.
Figuration and strongly defined faces, objects, and scenes seemed to be a cathartic trend to make people feel less alone in the pandemic. Post-pandemic, we saw art move away from celebrations of people and places and into the world of abstraction and neo-expressionism. Instead of clear depictions of tangible subjects, artists began experimenting with colour, texture, and composition to create art pieces that are expressions of the inner self rather than the outer world. Abstract painting continues to be a popular style of painting and allows artists to experiment and express themselves without any restraints.
3. Pop Art Trends And The Rise Of Maximalism
Pop art, Maximalism, Street art—it’s big, it’s bold, and it’s here to stay. We’re saying goodbye to simple, beige, and boring. Minimalism is by no means obsolete, but the revival of Maximalism in fashion has impacted the art world. Bold colours, loud prints, and saturated screen tones have been all the rage in 2023. Pop art contains references to trendy pop culture, and Indian pop art has a noticeable cultural influence. Contemporary and urban references like auto-rickshaws, hawkers, taxis, movie stills, and famous monuments feature prominently in Indian pop art.
This exaggerated art style contains the essence of Indian being—loud, proud, and colourful. Indian traditional art forms have always contained elements of exaggeration, dynamic colours, and whimsical stylization. Perhaps these similarities made Indian artists adopt the pop art style and give it a unique Indian voice.
Also read: How Do Art And Fashion Intertwine In India?
4. Textured Art: An Unconventional Art Trend
Visual art forms such as painting play around with shape, form, and texture. In 2023, we’ve seen a rise in textured artwork—art pieces that offer a tactile experience. Textured paintings can be seen as well as felt, which adds a new dimension to art. They gained popularity due to interior design trends that feature textured monochrome artwork as statement pieces. Textured paintings may be simple or complex, thus involving an element of sculpture.
Textured art pieces can portray energy and movement through the use of dynamic, three-dimensional textured strokes. The Impasto oil painting technique is one such method of creating dimension. Other mediums such as acrylic, gouache, and paper mache are also used to create pieces with varied textures and patterns.
5. Performance Art Trends In 2023
Performance art is artwork or an art exhibit that combines visual art with a performance. The audience does not see the art but experiences it by sometimes being a part of the performance.
The 2016–2019 exhibit ‘Can’t help myself’ by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu sparked discussion on social media. The rediscovery of this exhibit in 2023 displays the lasting impact of performance art on audiences. The art installation consists of a robot that is perpetually cleaning up a dark red blood-like liquid that keeps spilling from beneath it.
Social media users began discussing how the robot was stuck in a never-ending loop of cleaning up the ‘hydraulic fluid’ necessary for its survival. Several users interpreted it as a depiction of mental health and how futile it can seem to keep ‘picking up the pieces’. The original piece, however, was a statement on government surveillance and forced compliance. The red liquid was not hydraulic fluid or fuel. It represented the elusive quality of art as well as its inability to be contained by arbitrary restrictions. Performance art is an important art trend, as it is often used as a form of social commentary and in discussions of ethics and morality.
Art Trends And Their Influence On Indian Culture
Passing art trends influence the kind of art that is in public demand, which affects the kind of art artists create. Thus, trends in the art world play an important part in the development of a country’s artistic voice and culture. Art must continue to grow and evolve with the changing times. Artists like Kalyan Joshi and the Chitara family are keeping traditional art forms alive while reinterpreting them in a modern context. Blending contemporary references with folk art is another trend that doesn’t seem to be fading out anytime soon.
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By Melissa D’Mello