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Contemporary Art

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Submitted By TonyOndeng
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Contemporary Art
Thesis statement
An analysis of contemporary artwork reveals that there is a strong relationship between contemporary art and everyday life as artists can use them for environmental and political activities.
Introduction
One question that most people usually ask themselves when asked about the history of arts is whether art can have a history. Yes, art has a long history, older than most if not all individuals currently living on earth. Most people think of it as being timeless because art has remained beautiful and attractive since the Old Stone Age. Individuals enjoy looking at arts for its own sake not knowing that they may have a significant meaning and the knowledge of its context inasmuch as viewers from different generations and cultures may see same artworks and interpret them differently from the previous generations.
Most of the art works we see around originate from things of the past. Rarely does an artist come up with an imaginary art from vacuum (Art History, par 1). Most of them usually refer their arts by critiquing the outmoded models, borrowing some traditional techniques and methods, researching the old and forgotten stories as well as building on some timeless themes to enable them obtain new ideas (Par 3). It is very important for us to understand the historical precedent as it guides artists in obtaining context since art began from the caves by the Old Stone Age Homo sapiens. Below is an example of prehistoric painting adapted from Arthistory.com
Contemporary art on the other hand, refers to art that is produced at human’s present period in time, preferably between the Second World War to date (Esanu, par 1). It includes more than 50 different types of art that has been seen since the end of the Second World War. It is the work of artists living in the 21st century. It mirrors contemporary society and culture, thus it is of great resource importance to students, teachers and the general audience in their day to day activities. What contemporary artists do is that they combine methods, materials, subjects and important concepts aimed at challenging the traditional boundaries Esanu, par 3). They give voice to the rapidly changing and varied cultural landscape of identities, beliefs and values. Having looked at contemporary artists, it is fair that the importance of contemporary audience be noted. The contemporary audience play a very important and active role in giving already made art a meaning. This, according to Esanu, has been confirmed by most artists who always acknowledge that their work would not be complete without the contemporary audience. The audience contribute their own experiences and reflections, interpretations and opinions to artwork.
In general, contemporary art gives a reflection of a wide range of opportunities, technology and media as a whole that helps the audience to understand what it is and how defined it is (Amelia, par 2). Contemporary art in itself is so diverse that as a matter of fact there is no singular way of defining it. It explores ideas, describe the past, present as well as the future and because of this diversity, the best definition given to it is that it is the art of today (Amelia, par 4).
Relationship between Art and Everyday Life
The term “Art” has commonly be used to associate to pieces of work in a museum or a gallery, be it a modern sculpture or a renaissance (Norris, par 1). There is however much more than this in the term. As a matter of fact, art surrounds us and we continuously use it in our day to day living. Someone still imagines how. A high number of people worldwide do not realize how much important art is in their life and how much they rely on it in our daily life. Below is an example of beautiful artwork obtained in one of the art museums in San Francisco.

Art and music
Just like music, art is very important in our lives. It makes one’s heart so joyful and influences one’s mood. In the case of music, assume that you are in the office and you have a work that is difficult to tackle yet you feel tired, energetic music always save the day. The same way, most people find that when they are stressed up, and they listen to relaxing and calming music it always save their day by helping them ease their mind (Norris, par 4).
Art in the home
Trying to imagine of where one calls a home, we realize that there are lots of art in it. Imagine of the beautiful paintings on the wall, photograph or even print placed on the wall. That is all art. As if that is not enough, try looking around your home well, that decorated towel, delightfully patterned quilt on the bed, angle poised desk lamp, even the cute pink covered teapot all form part of art (Norris, par 2).
The joy of Art
One may wonder why others would go to an extent of buying expensive paints yet they can live without them, having only the essential items that are not artistic. To answer them, while art may not be so vital in fulfilling our basic needs, it is important to note its great importance in making our lives joyful. One will always feel happy when they stare at the paintings in their walls and the posters in their surroundings (Norris, par 3). Such things like the figurines and the sculpture on the kitchen windowsill often bring some joy to us. All these kinds of art that surround us, when brought together make our lives personable and beautiful.
Inspirational Art
Such arts are often found in our places of work and they encourage employees of the need to continue being productive (Norris, par 5). In this modern world today, at least three quarters of all companies in the world are now using arts in their offices. Other companies play background music as this helps motivate employees hence improve product and performance quality. Far from companies, individuals may have some things they own and that they always find motivational. This could be a paint of a scene one longs to visit, a beautifully scrolled quote or even a print with a positive affirmation. To some extent, some even put up posters of their favourite actors and or singers in order to motivate them to go to the gym. Art is always present everywhere we go. Parks use sculptures in informing people and adding interest, music play keeps one’s energy levels high as posters on walls and billboards motivate and inform us.
Art therefore has a huge impact on our emotions which in turn affect our lives. This may be either positively or negatively. On the negative side, some dark paints and art would irritate our emotions, cause disturbance or even go further to cause anger. Most kinds of art, however will always make one feel happy, peaceful and inspired to doing something. An art like the one below brings inspiration when one sees it on their wall especially after a long day working.

Relationship between Art and the Environment
The term environmental art is a wide term sometimes used for a wide range of work which in the long term help to improve human relationship with the environment. Art in itself provides a lens that assists human to explore things such as urban food production, clothing design, and infrastructure and watershed management from an environmental perspective. The contemporary artists’ way of tackling the issue of environmental change is now a lot more diverse as compared to the past artists (Morelli, par 8). For instance, in the past, one could find only a few artists tackling the issue of environmental changes. In this post-modern art stage, we see a lot more artists coming together with specific objective of solving the environmental effects. This has been witnessed in programs like Cape Farewell. Environmental artists are however faced with several certain problems; for instance, honesty and straight forwardness in many artists do not always exist. In other circumstances, when genuine artists pushes a political agenda, they are always viewed as propaganda hence opposed or ignored.
To help solve the great environmental problems like the global warming, the contemporary artists can come up with ways of coming together and coming up with environmentally themed museum work and gallery as these will attract the audience as well as pass the information on solving the environmental problem facing them (Morelli, par 7). Such problems as pollution can easily be rectified using the few contemporary artists available (Morelli, pg. 11).

Contemporary Art as a means of Protest
In a broad sense, contemporary art include street theatre and music and all other forms of visual representation (Eyerman, par 1). In the modern world, news would spread across the globe very fast. Those who take advantage of these forms of art first are the ones who usually benefit more from them. For instance, the opposition party of a country or a state, if not well monitored and controlled by the then ruling party may spread dirty politics that may eventually lead to protests. Below is a photo adapted from Mobilizingideas.com showing citizens protesting using different forms of art. During protests in a state against the government for instance, one may see the protests carrying paint work and posters with an indication of the reason why they are protesting. If the posters they carry successfully passes out the information to other citizens, other citizens may join them in the protests, resulting to an uncontrollable protest (Eyerman, par 5).
In conclusion, there is a strong relationship between contemporary art and everyday life as artists can use them for environmental and political activities. Contemporary art can be used to reduce adverse weather effects as well as it can be applied as a tool of protest in case of a corrupt leader and so on. It entails much more than the narrow sense of art. In fact, it is everywhere!

Works Cited
Amelia Jones. "A Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945." MAV - Mujeres En Las Artes Visuales. N.P., 2006. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Arthistory. "Contemporary Art and Art History." Art History. N.P., 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Bower, Sam. "ENVIRONMENTAL ART." N.P., Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Esanu, Octavian. "What Was Contemporary art?" MIT Press Journals - Home. N.P., 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Eyerman, Ron. "The Role of the Arts in Political Protest." Mobilizing Ideas. N.P., 3 June 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
Farr, Kristin. "Do You See the Seven Elements of Art in Everyday Life? | KQED." KQED Education. N.P., 10 Mar. 2015. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Gillick, Liam. "Contemporary Art Does Not Account for That which is Taking Place." E-flux. N.P., 2015. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Krug, Don. "Teaching Art in the Context of Everyday Life." GREEN MUSEUM. N.P., 2003. Web. <www.greenmuseum.org/generic_content.php?ct_id=134>.
Mongolia. "Between Art and Environment | a Mongolian Case Study | Culture360.asef.org." ASEF Culture360.asef.org. ASEF culture360, 10 Jan. 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Morelli, Naima. "Is contemporary art effective in spreading awareness of climate change?" N.P., 22 May 2014. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Norris, David. "The Importance of Art in Daily Life." Fine Art Photography | Art For Healing | Monte Nagler. N.P., 12 Dec. 2011. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Osborne, Peter. "Contemporary art is post-conceptual art." FAR: Contemporary Art, Advanced Course in Visual Arts and Textile Studio Museum. N.P., 9 July 2010. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
"WHAT IS MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART?" Welcome to IMMA | Irish Museum of Modern Art. N.P., 2010. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

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