Blog: Change is the foundation upon which today's artists create and continue to move forward. aka Change – Part 2 of 3

Christine Alfery

Posted on March 30 2020

Blog: Change is the foundation upon which today's artists create and continue to move forward. aka Change – Part 2 of 3

The only thing constant in this world is change.

In today’s art world, we value change – value is assigned to those who have a new idea: leaders of ever evolving art movements, those with an easily recognizable style different from all the others, the creation of a new technique, discovery of a new way of perceiving art – change powers the word of art. 

That has not always been the case. For much of art history, realism was King. Any deviation from realism was deemed a failure – if it wasn’t realistic it wasn’t “real art”. With the birth of modern art, came a movement away from traditions and norms – change. At first this change was rejected and ridiculed. Entire categories of art were deemed “not real art”.

Today the idea of considering Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Fauvism, or Tribal Art as “not real art” is ridiculous. With time, perceptions of the existing history have changed. Today, the way we perceive art history recognizes the importance of familiarizing, celebrating, incorporating and building upon change as we continue to move forward on the journey of art.

Today, the way we perceive art history recognizes the importance of familiarizing, celebrating, incorporating, and building upon change as we continue to move forward on the journey of art.

Change is about seeing the present with the past nestled into it. That is the foundation upon which artists today create artwork and continue to move forward. We live in a time when we can recognize and celebrate the importance of the changes in art history that may have been missed or dismissed during their time.

 Change is hard.

Throughout art history, change was rejected – the rules of “good art” were clear. With the birth of modern art the rules began to change, and as I argued above, today we value change in art. We seek change – it holds power over the creative efforts of the art world.

That effort to seek change has sometimes led the art world to the extreme and controversial - shock art, selling a banana with duct tape, calling a urinal a fountain. Creating art simply for the sake of the conversation – “what is art?”.

Don't just change to change.

 Yes, seek the new. Yes, seek uniqueness. Yes, seek change. But don’t just change to change – change in itself is not the determining factor of value. New is not always better. Just because I created something different does not automatically qualify it as an improvement over the old.

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