Modern Art: A Reflection of Contemporary Life

Modern Art: A Reflection of Contemporary Life

Unraveling the Mystery of Modern Art

When I first stumbled upon modern art, my initial reaction was similar to most: a befuddled expression coupled with "my kid could do that." That kid being Finn, my six-year-old, who once proudly presented a drawing of our family that looked more like a Jackson Pollock piece. However, the whole perplexity of modern art is part of its charm. It's not just a splash of paint here or some abstract lines there, it is an honest and raw reflection of contemporary life.

Modern art, in its various forms, is like the pulse of the time. Each piece captures the emotions, sensations, and ideas of the contemporary world. In it, we see ourselves, our society, and the world we inhabit. Sounds a tad dramatic, right? But stay with me. There's more to it than meets the eye.

Appreciating the Abstraction

Take abstract art, for instance. It may be full of burstiness and perplexity, but that's its beauty. It's like decoding a secret message or understanding a kid's drawing—imagination is the key. During an exhibition, I remember watching this woman becoming engrossed in an abstract painting. Her eyeglasses were sliding down her nose, which was scrunched in deep thought. She was intensely trying to discern and decode whatever message the artist had conveyed in that swirl of colors. "Do you see a sunset or a sunrise?" she asked me. That painted canvas, with no discernible objects or persons, was telling her a story.

And that's just it—modern or abstract art isn't about the accuracy of the shapes or the perspective. It's about the colors, the patterns, and the feelings they evoke. It's about breaking free from the rigid rules of traditional art and creating something unique and personal. A blank canvas is the artist's playground, a safe space to express their innermost thoughts without judgment or censorship.

Modern Art and Society

But modern art is not a trend or a fad. It’s a mirror to our society, reflecting the complex weave of cultures, ideologies, and emotions that make up our world. It's a response to societal changes and challenges we face. And by decoding its meaning, we can understand epochs, generation ethos, viewpoints, and the psychology of an era.

Let's take Pop Art. It emerged in the mid-20th century as a critique of consumer culture. Through vibrant, bold images of everyday consumer goods, it tried to showcase the increasing materialistic and mechanized society. It was, quite literally, art of the people, by the people, for the people. Or consider Graffiti. Once seen as an act of defiance or vandalism, it's now being recognized as a powerful medium of social commentary. Just like those 'tags' on the walls of my old school building, telling the tales of youth frustrations and aspirations.

Discovering the Depths

A fascinating aspect of modern art is its depth. It's not just about what you see on the surface but what lies beneath. I recall an incident once when I was at a museum with Reuben, my little artist. He pointed at a Surrealist painting and exclaimed, "Dad, this is like my dreams!" Even at his young age, he could relate to the bizarre and imaginative landscapes of Surrealism, which aimed to bring our dreams, fantasies, and subconscious to the forefront.

From the angst-filled works of Expressionism to the minimalistic beauty of Suprematism, each movement of modern art explores different facets of human emotion and experience. They say that every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. And in modern art, we see this personal touch, this dissection of the self, in its purest form.

Dabbling in DIY Modern Art

Want to experience the essence of modern art firsthand? Why not give a try at creating some yourself? Trust me, you don't need to be the next Picasso or Pollock to enjoy the process of creating art. Remember, it's not about getting it 'right'. It's about expressing yourself freely. Gather some paints, brushes and a canvas and start dabbling. Who knows, you might discover a previously unknown artistic side to yourself!

As Finn's and Reuben's dad, art supplies are never too far from reach in our home. One lazy Sunday afternoon, we had our own art session. In the spirit of Pollock, we splashed paints, creating dynamic swirls and dots. Each stroke reflected our moods—Finn’s bold, vibrant strokes echoing his boundless energy and Reuben’s careful, gentle touches, mirroring his thoughtful nature. Safe to say, that piece of 'modern art' is my absolute favorite and holds a central pride of place on our living room wall.

So, next time you’re perplexed by a piece of modern art, pause and delve a little deeper. Try to see beyond the abstract shapes and colors. Because in its vast cosmos of creativity, modern art has a galaxy for everyone—a space where you can find your own reflection.

Gregory Hawthorne
Written by Gregory Hawthorne
I'm an accomplished Art Historian, Gregory Hawthorne, currently based in Sydney, Australia. My work involves comprehensive analysis, interpretation, and criticism of art pieces. As a contributor to numerous art magazines, my writing revolves around the extensive aspects of visual arts. My devotion to arts has led me to connect with artists and curators from all corners of the world. Through my articles, I aim to create a platform that bridges the gap between artists and the general public.

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