Innovation vs. cyclicity: Art predictions for the next 10 years

Culture Life

Image Description: A 3D printed skull, in side profile, with interior and exterior anatomical features showing.

Last year, the Arts Council, a government organisation tasked with promoting and developing arts and culture across England, published its draft document entitled ‘Shaping the next ten years.’ This document, to be fully published later this year, stated that “over the next decade, [they] want England to become a country where the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish, and where every one of us has access to a rich and remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences.”

Undoubtedly, the last decade saw an ever-globalised market for artistic works, with Innocross-cultural influences showing across the range of artistic medium. Museums began to display newer work by young and forward-thinking artists alongside pieces of “traditional” art, and the powers of social media marketed smaller creatives to ever-larger audiences.

If England is a country that values its creativity, how will that creativity emerge in a world of new technology and new challenges? What has only begun to emerge in the realm of computer-generated art, artificial intelligence, or virtual reality, no doubt will expand into all corners of the art world as both tools to create and tools to discover. Sculptors may be ever more ready to choose 3D-printing and computer-aided design to model subjects that were once thought impossible to craft by hand. With technology growing ever better and ever cheaper, what was once high-end hardware for the most serious of graphic design companies will, at the end of the next decade, be available as an app on the phones of children.

Will there be a move towards a more technical approach, a desire to see art as the product of a master craftsman more so than a master provocateur?

And yet, art is as cyclical as ever. For many years, the creative world has been a place to break away from rules and tradition, to experiment and explore subject matter, medium, meaning, all with less judgement and less technicality. I may be straying too far into the realm of general opinion when I say this, but I believe that we have reached a point in the last decade where our attraction towards certain works of art that ‘break boundaries,’ which provide a shock factor that appeals more to media attention than anything else, is waning. Will there be a move towards a more technical approach, a desire to see art as the product of a master craftsman more so than a master provocateur?

Shall the art of the 20s be defined by the skilfulness of the artist? It is hard to say for sure, but certainly, there is already a resistance towards ‘modern art’ as a genre that often postures social commentary instead of creating works of value. I believe that it will be stories that will shape the next ten years of art. Stories of the subjects, stories of the artists, stories of hardship and triumph. 2020 is already shaping up to be a decade of battle: military and political, social and climatological. Out of this conflict no doubt we will gain, as we have from conflicts of the past, great works of art born from the stories of these events.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe a longing for greater technicality, the accuracy of paintwork, drawing inspirations from the old masters and classical works will reignite in these coming years as the artistic subjects demand a rawness and accuracy in their portrayals, painted or otherwise. The reality of a world on fire cannot, and should not, be hidden underneath abstract meaning.

Image Credit: Joshua Harker 

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