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Contemporary art: Bridging the gap


Contemporary art

Contemporary art

There is no single widely acceptable definition of contemporary Art, most people understand the concept and at best what the style represents but critics, curators and historians define it in varying ways. Sometimes referred to as the “postmodernist’s Art,” contemporary art emerged sometime during the 1960s to 70s; marking a change-over from the modern era of Art to a more contemporary style. Most Art experts use 1970 as a cut-off date because by then transition from the modern era was complete.

That being so, contemporary Art is simply defined as Art produced from (roughly) 1970 up until this very minute. Skipping the historical details, contemporary Art is a reflection of artworks produced at the present period in time, in other words, contemporary to us, thereby allowing subsisting audiences play an integral role in the process of constructing meaning for the artwork. There has been much debate in the Art world regarding the quality art that comes with the Postmodernists place a lot of emphasis on societal, cultural, political and technological changes in the past few decades.

It mirrors contemporary culture and expresses Art with regards to the things going on around us, offering students and audiences alike a rich medium through which they can rethink the familiar and question the norm. It transmits ideas and values that are relatable to contemporary audiences, contemporary style. Like its predecessor modern Art, it has been at the forefront of criticism, with most critics arguing that it focuses too much on the media used to disseminate Art rather than the skill-set required to create Art itself.


Others argue that contemporary art is not necessarily art that is relatable to all audiences; here’s an excerpt from an article published in the Journal Art Education a few years ago – “Some Art can seem so far removed from our everyday experiences that it is hard to understand.

Contemporary Art and Art from cultures foreign to our own can be especially difficult.” This argument is quite valid because fact is, we cannot fully discern meanings to artworks bearing deep inspiration from cultures different to ours. For example, a Japanese stumbles upon a painting depicting a group of Nigerian women all dressed in Aso-Ebi at a traditional marriage or “Owambe” as most Nigerians call it. It is very likely the viewer will not be able to fully understand the painting, he might conclude it may be a group of African women dancing.

However, a Nigerian would quickly recognize the setting to be of a traditional Nigerian wedding. It is for this reason that artists today should strive to provide back stories for their target audience, as it aids in the understanding of their artworks by people of different cultural backgrounds.

At, the goal is to bridge this gap by ensuring all our merchants provide back-stories for every artwork featured on our platform.

At the end of the day, there is no perfect style of Art, there is always going to be a gap somewhere. One thing is for sure, Art can be perceived in myriad of ways, shapes and forms; making it subjective. If it represents something to the artists and appreciated by the people who look at it, it is considered Art.
Visit now to see some of the exquisite African-inspired contemporary paintings.

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