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Recently read this insightful piece written by Dr S. Maureen Burke explaining how contemporary art is the art of the new, the now, the present. Strictly defined, it is art that has been created within the last 10 to 15 years. Unlike "modern art." which comprises the art of the entire last century, contemporary art is still evolving.

The media and techniques contemporary artists use are often experimental, such as mixed media, video, or digital media, but these artists also may work in such traditional media as painting, sculpture, and photography. These artworks, created in the present and of the pre-sent, reflect a multiplicity of styles. No critical consensus has yet been formed, no established movement has so far come to the forefront. The works stand on their own. They may be serious or humorous, narrative or evocative, figurative or abstract. General themes may include identity, politics, gender, or the representation of the human body. Contemporary artists working in the abstract tradition explore artistic space and the placement of forms in that space. Artists who work with digital media may deal with aspects of time, movement, and change.

Contemporary art is too new to be predictable. There is a sense of discovery as collectors or curators select particular pieces from the vast amount of contemporary work being created. Without the intervention of historical or critical judgement, the role of individual choice becomes paramount. The collector selects work to which they react strongly. This selection is an aesthetic choice, based on the likes or dislikes of an individual.Viewers enjoy a more direct engagement with contemporary art than with art of earlier periods since the distancing that comes with the passage of time has not yet taken place. Artists working today share the viewers' world, their same time and space.

It crosses boundaries into the viewers' own experiences and perspectives, enabling them to interact with the work in a very instinctive way. This immediate and intimate visual dialogue, with its sense that critics, collectors, viewers, and artists are .together participating in a formative art world, is one of the most profound rewards of contemporary art.



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