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What are the top trends in contemporary art?

What are the top trends in contemporary art?

The 2020s have already proven to be a tumultuous and disruptive decade. Even if nothing of note happens in the next eight years (and that seems rather unlikely), the 2020s will still be marked by global climate and healthcare disasters that sit alongside social and political upheaval. And it’s only 2021. With so much happening in the contemporary art world, the art world has responded in its own unique way. Today we’ll be exploring these trends to see how makers, galleries and collectors have begun to question the ways in which we make, exhibit and consume art.

Doubling down on digital

The pandemic has had a profound impact on all industries around the world. The art world is no exception. In a year marked by isolation and national lockdowns, artists, galleries and enthusiasts were forced to question the ways in which art is made and consumed. A focus on digitisation has led the charge with many major institutions and galleries offering virtual exhibitions alongside their physical collection. While gallery doors have opened once more, the popularity of the digital exhibition still reigns high. The digital exhibition is here to stay and artists and galleries that lean into this push towards tech are a step ahead of the rest. 

Interactive exhibits augmented reality apps that immerse the viewer, and new mediums such as NFT’s are proof that the trend for all things digital is not likely to fade anytime soon. NFT or non-fungible token is a term heard more frequently in galleries and auction houses alike. Today most NFTs are viewed online, but unlike a traditional painted canvas,  NFT’s aren’t confined to one form and can be displayed in a variety of different ways. 

NFT’s aren’t the only medium taking the art world by storm. 3D motion graphics offer emerging artists a medium that can transform vast space and reimagine cities into the artist’s otherworldly vision. Augmented reality and “gram-worthy” aesthetics invite collectors and art enthusiasts to have an immersive experience and interact with art rather than simply looking at it. Advances in tech offer newer and exciting opportunities that will see the trend of digital art only increase in the coming years.

Back to Nature

Nature has always provided inspiration to artists. The global climate crisis has brought nature to the forefront of public consciousness. As we attempt to connect more with our natural surroundings, artists have taken up the call to promote images of the beauty around us. Not only are we seeing more natural themes, but a focus on nature may be a reaction to, and a balm for all of the chaos around us. From sweeping seascapes to botanical studies, we don’t see this trend going anywhere soon. 

Photo by Tapio Haaja on Unsplash

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