Over time, art evolves. The materials artists use change.
A current trend that is building is the use of up cycled materials. We see artists using found objects, repurposing materials and riding the wave of recycling re-using materials. While one may point to the collages of well-known artists like Picasso in Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Guitar and Newspaper , 1913 and Black Wall 1959 by Louise Nevelson in which the artist assembles materials found in the street into a sculptural composition of 24 wood boxes.
Contemporary sculptor artist John Chamberlain has made art from up cycled car parts. Ilana Goor, famous Israeli sculptress, who in Wild Weeds, 2004 uses wire and found objects in this mixed media piece.
So it is with the artists of the moment. Driven by new ideas, influenced by the move to re-use, reduce, recycle and the inherent low costs of supplies, up cycled art is growing as a well accepted art form.
From the work of 2D artist Jennifer Lashbrook who creates large scale art from discarded pain chip samples to Amy Manning who uses vintage doors, moldings and hardware to create new functional pieces. Chicago artist Andrew Christen salvages old wood floors from buildings set for demolition and used the planks as the foundation for his paintings. Heather Hambrecht uses hand selected eco-conscious leather remnants repurposed from the excess of industry for her purses, back packs and wearables. Sculptor Dakota Pratt uses thousands of bottle caps in his work, covering his understructure with the patina of pounded flat bottle caps. Kinetic Sculptor Frank Strunk, and artist Dick Cooley each create 3d work from a palette of old hardware, machines and much more.
Graffiti, long regarded as the work of malicious young people and gangs, is becoming a respected art form. From Banksy’s street art work found all over the world, to entire industries that have emerged such as the Graffiti tours in Tel Aviv, to the Wynwood Walls in Miami, graffiti is all around us. Street festival artists of today including Melissa Mastrangelo and Kenneth Kudulis reflect the graffiti trend.
While many materials are used in today’s graffiti art, the use of spray paint has been a mainstay allowing for speed in creating these pieces that typically are created under the darkness of night. Young emerging artists like Frank Gonski and Brett Whitacre have tossed the brushes and traded them in for spray paint and even digital spray paint, working from the fronts and backs of pieces creating mobile pieces of graffiti art.
Fresh, challenging, and humorous, the new trends in art reflect the times we are in.