Art is about tradition but it is also about innovation. In no particular order, here is my short and selective list of things that changed the art world. What did I miss? Please add your favorite discoveries, pivotal events or influential characters in the comments space below.
1. The Invention of Photography
From the first daguerreotypes in the early 19th century to today’s digital technology enabling everyone to share and show their pictures, photography has challenged and altered how both amateur and professional artists think and go about documenting daily life. Photography continues to test the boundaries between art and science.
2. Art in the Abstract
There will always be those who prefer art closely resembling its subject. However, the pioneering artists of the modernist movement who first boldly rebelled against representational art created images that influenced both the cultural atmosphere of their time and all artists that followed.
3. Performance Art
What do you do as an artist when everything else has been done? You create a new artform that keeps reinventing itself, refusing to be defined. Part theater, part exhibition, in which the artist often becomes art in the very act of creation, performance art came into its own in the 1960s but had precursors decades earlier. It can be provocative, disturbing and confusing, but rarely boring.
4. A Matter of Perspective
Until artists of the 15th century started applying mathematics to their paintings, images sat on the surface without depth or dimension. Mastering techniques of perspective gave more realism to compositions, making them compelling convincing mirrors of our world and setting the standard for centuries to come.
5. Art Goes Virtual
In recent times, we’ve witnessed an incredible proliferation of virtual galleries and art markets on the Internet, bringing art to a wider audience than ever before. Of everything you can now enjoy or buy online, art was not the first to arrive, but it’s here to stay, thanks to sites like Zatista, where anyone can experience and purchase original art anytime, anywhere.
Brian Sylvester is a guest blogger on WallSpin, and an artist on Zatista.
- Think Small (zatista.com)
- Mirrors in Art (zatista.com)
- Color in Art and Moods (zatista.com)
- 37,000 Years of Art Appreciation (zatista.com)