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Contemporary art is a broad term used to define the “art of today,” or any art produced past the late-20th century. The ranges in subject matter, material, presentation, form, and culture. Contemporary lacks all-encompassing guideline, and is distinguished by its artistic diversity.

Contemporary art is cutting-edge, and constantly changing to reflect the varied perspectives of our global culture.

Image: Balloon Dog (Yellow) by Jeff Koons / Courtesy of Google Images.



Beginning in the mid-1950s, pop art is the inclusion of subject matter from popular culture and mass media into artwork. Pop art avoids original or complex imagery, instead portraying ordinary objects in an upfront and realistic style, and relies on simple, bold primary colors. Pop art often uses techniques such as repetition to minimize the perception of value or exclusivity of art and appeals to the characteristics of mass-production such as print and photography.

Since the intent of pop art is to reference and relate popular culture to traditional fine art, many people are drawn to this art style for its ability to easily connect with the viewer’s everyday reality. Today, pop art is also a source of nostalgia for many of the popular media symbols of the past.

Image: Crying Girl by Roy Lichtenstein / Courtesy of Google Images.




Photorealism is a form of art in which an artist recreates an exact replica of an object or scene as it would appear in a photograph. Photorealistic work is often based directly on a picture. The artist recreates every part of the subject of the piece down to the last detail.

One of the main attractions of photorealistic art is the recognition of the artwork as a piece of art, although it appears indistinguishable from a photograph. The realization of the skill, time, and dedication of an artist to make a work identical to that of a photo can be absolutely remarkable. For many people, photorealistic art is a beautiful indication of the unbelievable vastness of human capacity and skill.

Image: Ultimate Gumball by Charles Bell / Courtesy of Google Images.




Art deco is style that combines striking geometric shapes which
modern materials such as metals, plastic, or chrome. Art deco arose to achieve
a more polished and modern appearance, and is often used on furniture, jewelry,
and in murals.

Art deco is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Art
deco is attractive to many people as a decorative style for their living spaces,
and holds a professional and sophisticated charm that observers will admire.

Image: The Green Turban by Tamara de Lempicka / Courtesy of Google Images.

In abstract art, the artist captures the essence of the
subject rather than its physical form.  Abstract artists challenge traditional
artistic conventions in favor of experimental uses of color, shape, material,
and techniques. In addition, abstract art is open to interpretation, and often
requires the observer to challenge themselves to assign their own meaning or
subject to a work.

In display, abstract art can be utilized as a think-piece or eye-catching attraction for a space. The unique and unexpected forms of abstract art do not only provide for an interesting conversation, but can also visually stimulate the mind and brighten the space. Likewise, due to the nature of abstract art, a person can continue to find new significance and relevance in a piece for over a lifetime.

Image: Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow by Piet Mondrian / Courtesy of Google Images.




Surrealist art attempts to illustrate the vast imagination
of the unconscious mind in a visual form. Surrealist artwork is unique and
widely varied, as each individual artist draws from their own dreams and
subconscious realities to produce a piece. However, surrealist art typically can
be identified by its use of bizarre imagery that depicts ordinary, realistic
objects in a manner that is confusing and/or illogical.

Surrealist art taps into a creative and impractical side of
the human mind, pushing its viewers to contemplate the possibilities of
reality. Surrealism expands the viewers mind beyond a conventional awareness of
the world to a more inventive perception. Works of this art form are great for inspiring
original ideas and new ways of thinking.

Image: The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí / Courtesy of Google Images.




The artistic style of expressionism began in the early 20th
century, and is defined by the depiction of an artist’s emotional response to
an object or event rather than the actual object or event itself. Expressionism
is extremely individualized and subjective, and often uses techniques such as
exaggeration, distortion, radical perspective, and intense colors to present
complex feelings and thoughts.

These artworks are highly effective at evoking strong emotional reactions, from joy to surprise to sadness. With expressionist art, people can investigate the rich depths of human feeling.

Image: The Scream by Edvard Munch / Courtesy of Google Images.




Impressionism is an art movement, arising in the late-19th
century, characterized by artists who create a painting representative of their
initial perception or “impression” of a subject, often through the utilization
of loose and undefined forms. This style appears as if the viewer is only
receiving a glimpse of the objects in a piece. Impressionist work is known for
its emphasis on color, its accurate depiction of highlights and shadows, as
well as its use of small, painterly brushstrokes.

Impressionist pieces can be an intimate window into the eyes
of an artist, as the less rigid structure and technique allows the artist to
express more emotion and dynamic into a work. The vivid colors and perceivable
motion in impressionist paintings give a sense of whimsy and life to pieces,
and can seemingly transport viewers to a different time and place.
Impressionist artwork is a pleasure to own for those who are adventurous and
imaginative, and appreciate the wonder of exploring a world just beyond their

Image: Garden at Sainte-Adresse by Claude Monet / Courtesy of Google Images.



A scenic lake overlook, a vase of flowers on a windowsill,
or a couple reading together at a crowded coffee shop: these are all scenes
that capture a distinct aesthetic appeal. Art, however, is oftentimes
associated with works that that creatively interpret these ordinary objects or
concepts into a more fanciful or imaginative form. In contrast, the art style
of realism aims to capture the appeal of the subject in a natural state,
without excessive use of artistic liberties or the addition of artificial
elements in the work.

In the creation of a realism art piece, the artist frames a
select moment in time for the viewer to observe. Art owners who gravitate towards
realism artworks are likely appreciative of the mood and style that certain
pieces reflect, and desire to emphasize and expand these feelings where the
artworks are placed. Realism pieces capture a meaningful moment in the world in
truth, and allow a person to possess it as a lasting experience.

Image: The Gleaners by Jean-François Millet / Courtesy of Google Images.