|Art can be very confusing if you’ve just recently come across terms such as style, movement, and school. But are these just buzzwords or is there any tangible difference between them? Making things even more convoluted is the fact that most art writers and historians have different definitions, and they often use these terms interchangeably even though most art scholars agree there are minor differences in their meaning.
To make your journey into the world of arts less complicated, here are 10 of the most popular art styles.
1. Abstract Art
This bizarre art style will confuse you if you are the kind of person who seeks meaning in everything. Abstract art makes it almost impossible to decipher anything cohesive since there is not one person, place, or thing to properly understand. Worse still is the fact that the perspective of the art style abruptly changes if looked from a different angle. One moment you think a sapling is growing into a full grown tree, the next moment these same colors and caricatures will show a shipwreck. It’s very random and completely open to your interpretation.
According to the art scholars at Tate, abstract art seeks to withdraw from its surroundings. It lacks any connection with the real world. Check out our online abstract collection, with powerful and popular prints that will inspire you to think.
Impressionism was first introduced in Paris before it spread throughout the US and Europe. This type of art involves the use of brushwork and light to highlight the essence of a subject. The objective is to tell a story without resorting to realistic depictions. Well-known impressionist artists tested the boundaries of what is possible with colors and demonstrated that you can paint just about anything without conveying any deep underlying meaning. Impressionists were revolutionary in their use of colors and would utilize unmixed, clean colors and mix them to achieve their target tones.
3. Pop Art
Pop art is relatively new, and it emerged in the 1960s. It was a fun style that uses imagery of mass media and popular culture, such as advertisements, news, comic books, and movies to tell a story. In this way, pop art appealed to people from all age groups. Today’s pop art continues to draws inspiration from the 1950s for some great designs.
Cubism is an art movement that debuted in the early 1900s. It was pioneered by the likes of George Braque and Pablo Picasso who deconstructed garmented subject matter in such a way that it could be viewed from different angles simultaneously. Cubism often looks like a form of abstract art, yet it is a style of realism.
The three elements of cubism are simultaneity, passage, and geometricity. Some artists try to incorporate meaning or understanding into their paintings, this is known as exploring the ‘fourth dimension.’
5. Modern Art
Modern art is rather captivating and will require more than a couple of glances to fully appreciate everything that the artist has drawn. By definition, modern art covers all the works from the late 1800s to the 1970s and was seen as a response to the Industrial Revolution. Before the 19th century, artists mostly worked for wealthy patrons or organizations like the church. Modern art allowed the artist to draw a subject according to their unique perspective and worldview.
Surrealism art was founded by French poet Andre Breton in the 1920s. Its goal was to liberate language, thought, and human experience from rationalism. Breton wanted to dabble into the state of the unconscious mind, which he believed was a source of true artistic creativity. He opined that surrealism could be used as a revolutionary movement that removed the shackles from a rational mind, thus liberating human thought and exploration.
In this sense, you may think surrealism is a form of abstract art. Although surreal art doesn’t obey the rules of conventional art, it takes real objects and places them in unrealistic situations that defy logic.
7. Contemporary Art
Art scholars and historians around the world have yet to reach a consensus on where modern art ends and contemporary art begins. However, they all unanimously agree that, to a large extent, contemporary art is the style of the present. Any works of painting that have been made in the last 6 to 12 months are referred to as contemporary art. Others may include works of art that were created two to ten years ago.
Contemporary art takes advantage of the latest rendering and digital techniques to create stunning pieces that spruce up otherwise bland interior decors. They feature lots of colors that can make even the most minimalist rooms feel alive.
Fantasy art, as the name implies, is a genre of art that depicts supernatural themes or mythological creates. It is strongly linked to works of fiction and mainly used to illustrate stories and narratives. Both children and adults alike enjoy fantasy art and love escaping into mythical and magical lands.
9. Graffiti Art
There’s a high chance you’ve already seen graffiti painted on public surfaces such as walls and properties. It developed into a popular art form that was seen as a reaction to oppressive political situations. Graffiti art gave a platform to the voiceless and depicted societal norms that were almost taboo to talk about. Although graffiti art from the days of yore was illegal since it was depicted on someone else’s property without their permission, if you see them painted on canvas or in a gallery setting today, then it’s completely legal.
Photorealism is a style of highly detailed paintings in which the artist attempts to replace an image from a photograph. The art movement began during the 1980s as a result of by Richard Estes and Chuck Close. As you can imagine, staying true to the picture down to its microscopic details wasn’t exactly an easy process and requires immense technical expertise.
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