Art Is Changing – Just What Are The Trends In 2016?
July 1, 2016
George Lucas once said that art is a continually evolving process. When he said that technology keeps moving forward, making it easier for artists to tell their stories and paint the pictures they want he was probably (almost certainly) talking about motion pictures.
However, that comment is as easily applicable to other forms of art.
Today’s artists have an incredibly wide canvas on which they can express themselves. The new digital art movement, for instance, has evolved from artistic expressions on the Internet using some of the most advanced software available in the 21st century to one that can now harness the inherent possibilities of 3D printing. Now three dimensional artistic expression is as easily accessible as two dimensional.
3D printing was originally designed to allow the creation of real world objects designed using graphic design software. Once the darling of the industrial sector 3D printing has now become the playground of artists the world over.
There is now continual discussion over whether the widespread and more cost effective availability of 3D printing will render traditional approaches to sculpture completely obsolete. The answer, at least for now must be no. This is a technology that is still in its infancy. There are widespread limitations in the materials that can be used, as well as the size of the products that are the end result of the 3D printing process. For now this must remain a technology of niches – more use to those who are studying engineering, manufacturing or graphic design.
Of course 3D printing technology will have an influence on art. Irrespective of whether the artist is working in wood or marble 3D design skills will only improve the ability to present concepts, as well as scale up 3D printed designs and blueprints to the dimensions the finished piece.
The power of 3D printing as it currently stands is similar to the power of the Internet. Just as the Internet allows users access to vast amounts of information that were previously only available in libraries, so the power of 3D printing can allow these same users to print and enjoy realistic simulacrums of famous artwork in their own homes. This technology may just represent the first steps towards the true democratization of art and sculpture.
This democratization of art is also taking place in cities across the world. Whereas social protest has, in the past taken the form of street marches and civil disobedience today it is harnessing the power of art and installations to take messages using art to the people.
In cities like Cairo and Rio de Janeiro, street art or even the projection of images onto abandoned buildings is taking messaging to a whole new level. This is true art for the masses – and it’s making even the ordinary person sit up and take notice. Art has always been praised for its beauty and emotional impact and now it’s being harnessed for the good of communities in built up areas across the world.
This is a type of art that is driving social change. Some may argue that this type of art is merely branding, however that ignores the fact that branding is often art in a commercial sense. This new wave of art is changing social protest from a divisive issue into one that draws people in. Although in many cases this new urban art is jarring to the senses it is without doubt encouraging young artists to explore the meaning and impact of art in the modern urban setting.
2016 will be seen as yet another watershed year in the continual evolution of the artistic process and the way in which the public appreciates art – not only for its beauty, but also for its utilitarian value. And the artists of 2016 are at the forefront of taking charge of the continual evolution of self expression.
About the Author
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