Contemporary art has often been characterized by a focus on abstract, conceptual, and experimental forms, which can sometimes feel removed from the everyday experiences and concerns of the viewer. As such, some people may feel that contemporary art has lost touch with the principles of realism, which strive to depict the world as it actually is or could be. However, there are ways in which we can bring realism back to contemporary art, and in doing so, create more meaningful and relevant works that connect with a wider audience.
One way to bring realism back to contemporary art is through the use of traditional media and techniques. While contemporary art often incorporates new technologies and unconventional materials, returning to the use of paint, pencils, clay, and other mediums that have a long history in the art world can help to ground the work in a sense of realism. This is because these mediums have a long-established set of conventions and techniques that are familiar to the viewer, and which can help to create a sense of believability and verisimilitude.
Another way to bring realism back to contemporary art is through the use of recognizable subjects and themes. While abstraction and conceptualism can be powerful tools for expressing ideas, they can also be difficult for many people to understand or relate to. By focusing on subjects that are familiar to the viewer, such as people, places, or events, contemporary artists can create works that are more relatable and engaging. This can be especially effective when the artist incorporates elements of their own life or experiences into the work, as this can create a sense of authenticity and connection with the viewer.
Realism can also be brought back to contemporary art through the use of social and political commentary. Many of the most memorable and impactful works of art throughout history have been those that address important issues and spark dialogue about the world we live in. By engaging with contemporary issues and incorporating them into their work, contemporary artists can create art that is both relevant and realistic. This can be particularly effective when the artist takes a critical or investigative approach, as this can encourage the viewer to consider the issues at hand and engage with them in a more meaningful way.
Finally, realism can be brought back to contemporary art through the use of storytelling and narrative. While abstract and conceptual works can be powerful in their own right, they can often lack the emotional impact and resonance of works that tell a story. By incorporating elements of storytelling into their work, contemporary artists can create works that are more engaging and immersive for the viewer. This can be especially effective when the artist uses storytelling to explore themes of personal identity, relationships, and the human experience, as this can create a sense of connection and empathy with the viewer.
In conclusion, there are many ways in which realism can be brought back to contemporary art, such as through the use of traditional media and techniques, recognizable subjects and themes, social and political commentary, and storytelling and narrative. By embracing these approaches, contemporary artists can create works that are more relatable, engaging, and relevant to a wider audience.