A Guide to Different Types of Contemporary Art

January 27, 2022
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Artists represent 2.5 million of the workforce population in America. Being an artist in today's industry is still challenging, with almost 35% of them being self-employed.

There are many different types of contemporary art that artists have taken a liking towards. Art can have the power to move, change, and influence people in ways that few other things can.

If you are new to the art world, then you might be curious about what new type of art interests you. If so - keep reading on and learn more about the beauty of the contemporary art world. 

Types of Contemporary Art

If art is something new to you, then you might find you have already been immersing yourself in different types of art throughout your life. In fact, art has been around for thousands of years. 

At its core, contemporary art refers to the most recent style of art. This is driven by new styles, mediums, and technology - you might even find more artwork created through online technology and 3D capabilities. The different types of contemporary art include:

  • Pop
  • Digital
  • Graffiti
  • Urban
  • Abstract
  • Geometric

When the term "artist" comes to mind, many people envision a paint-spattered person with a large paintbrush in hand staring at a canvas. That description is part of what an artist is, but as you can see - it is so much more!

If you can visit art galleries and purchase original artwork, it helps in supporting artists at a local and national level. Modern artists can continue their passions while still making a living through these means, something that is often difficult to do.

Modern vs. Contemporary Art

The artistic styles of modern and contemporary art differ dramatically, although they are only years apart from each other. Modern art and design lasted from the 19th century up until the 1960s. 

Modern art was the end of realistic depictions and the beginning of the ultimate freedom that artists had for painting whatever they wanted. This abstract form of art took hold and influenced the contemporary art stage to a degree. 

However, contemporary art is the ultimate form of innovation. There are no boundaries nowadays, and the art world has fully embraced artists with abstract ideas and unique styles.

Pop Art

Pop art got its start right after the modern era ended. It grew in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, pop art is largely what led to pop culture - a transcendent movement across Europe and North America that spurs on even today.

It is categorized by bold colors, everyday images, and simple designs. It is shocking, unique, and powerful. Something that was transcendent in an era that was still recovering from realism.

Abstract expressionism became more widespread during this time. This gave artists the ultimate freedom of tapping into their own ideas of reality and presenting them to the world.

It also led to the modern era of mass-reproducing artwork. Digital prints and screens started to take off during the Pop Era.

Urban Art

Urban art is a group of different forms of contemporary art such as graffiti art. The main aspect of urban art stems from cities, streets, and buildings. It entails decorating our world in creativity, inspiration, and motivation.

Rather than using canvas and paper, it takes materials from what we already have around us. It blends nature and art into one. Like pop art, this movement was started in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Graffiti Art

Graffiti art falls under the category of urban art and started gaining popularity in the 1960s. At the time - and even up through today - graffiti art challenged societal norms. 

Graffiti is often associated with slums, gangs, or poor neighborhoods. Since then, graffiti art has redefined these norms and given new mediums for artists to fully display their creativity. 

From the east coast to the west coast, graffiti art is much more prevalent. For example, you can walk the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Venice Beach, Long Beach, and San Diego in California and find various pieces of this art style. 

Graffiti art uses images, slogans, and creative designs for speaking up and creating new and more powerful platforms for politics, religion, societal rules, and more. 

In fact - graffiti art has actually been around for a lot longer than the 1960s and 1970s. If you take a walk through the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, you might see "graffiti" in the form of carvings into the plaster and stonework. 

Ancient graffiti was used for blatant love messages, everyday events, and even sexual promiscuity. Today, graffiti art is used as more than just a message to a lover or foe - it is redefining society's culture. 

Digital/NFT Art

With advances in technology, digital art has made a splash as a new form of contemporary art. There are many forms of digital art nowadays including: 

  • Animation
  • Digital installations
  • Sculpting
  • Photography
  • Painting

Digital art can also have fewer limitations in some instances. In a nutshell, digital art is any form of creation through the use of technology. As you can imagine, the options within this realm are often unlimited and a professional artist can find new ways each year for outstanding creations. 

Find Your Artistic Style

Everyone is drawn to different types of contemporary art, but almost everyone can appreciate uniqueness, creativity, and beauty. Your style might be different than the person standing next to you at an art gallery, but you are likely both there for the same reason, that is to appreciate the creative mindset of a person through their artwork. 

If you are interested in seeing more contemporary art, then check out our gallery and find our latest artists and their pieces.

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