Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate structure in Chicago, also known as The Bean. Picture Courtesy of Master Chronicler

What is art today? Who’s to judge that? Is everything considered art? Those questions are not easily answered. Everyone seems to have different views on the subject. What is designated as art today goes beyond any definition of Art we might have had in the past. You just have to look around you and see the endless approaches, influences, techniques that now take part in the process of art production.

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1986. American leader of the Pop culture movement, Warhol changed forever the way we see art.


As artist and writer Mark Kerstetter puts it in his blog: “Everything and anything is being done in the name of art, even nothing.” In his 2008 acclaimed book and Channel 4 television series This is Civilisation, Matthew Collings reflected on what is art today, how we engage with it and how it relates to us. He believes “What separates today’s society from the past is belief. We don’t have it. We don’t have political idealism. There is no single authority, no set of believable higher values.”

Despite its fair dose of madness and subjectivity, contemporary art has gained a significant importance throughout the last few decades.  It is, more than ever, a way of expressing ourselves and sharing with the world, a reflection of the society we live in. It is also a tool for change, interpersonal communication. Contemporary art tends to speak to the masses easily and in a way it lets people interpretate it freely, which is one of the main reasons of success of modern art. 

So change does not have to be a bad thing, but to what extent have the changes in the principles and aestethics of art affected the quality of the artworks we’re seeing now? Technology, for example, has already become an issue. Where does technology end and actual talent start?

So my advice would be: if you want to become an artist in today’s world, you need to ask yourself what makes you unique, talented, different from anyone out there?

Many contemporary art critics argue art can only be truly appreciated by those in the business, which is true in a way, but not entirely. Art should be ‘accessible’ not only to an elite, but to everyone. What proves that is the increased number of admirers of modern art. Nevertheless, having a good eye and susceptibility is crucial.

I see contemporary art as art that coexists with us and believe it tells a lot about our existence. What about you?


About Madalena Araujo

Journalism Graduate from Portugal currently studying at the London School of Economics. Interested in international affairs and life in general.
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  1. Mr WordPress says:

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  2. Teia Pearson says:

    Thank you for linking Mark’s post to your blog. Contemporary art is a subject needing a revisit 🙂

  3. Pingback: Critical evaluation of my Individual Project: Fresh Art « The view from beyond

  4. Would you agree with the view that Art and the wider Art market has become a new modern religion? A way of exploring and bringing meaning to humanity and life but now without God. maybe it should be called It has followers and with the majority of contemporary Art there is an element of faith needed to engage with an artist and his artifacts. I dont know, what are your thoughts ?

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