While the definition of art has changed over the years, the field of art history has developed to allow us to categorize changes in art over time and to better understand how art shapes and is shaped by the creative impulses of artists.
Having a solid grasp of art history, then, is important. I spoke with Alexander Daniloff and Jonathan Ball about the concept of art through history and about whether tracing a line through traditional and contemporary art is possible.
Alexander Daniloff is a Russian artist who lives and works in Italy. His focus is painting, although he has worked in several media. Lately, he has worked on children’s illustrations. He has participated in various events and illustration competitions and has illustrated three books. He has held numerous individual and group exhibitions in Italy, Russia, Holland, Spain, Finland and the US.
Jonathan Ball is the creative behind Poked Studio, an innovative company committed to developing creative visual solutions. That’s not all: among its services, Poked Studio offers illustration; Web, graphic and blog design; 3-D rendering and visualization; motion graphics; children’s book illustration; Flash websites; and games.
I don’t think we can say anything without falling into controversy, even me. I have a traditional view and prefer artwork that speaks for the artist or period. I can’t explain what contemporary art is, or at least what it’s meant to be. Yes, you can trace a line from traditional to contemporary art, but not a straight one. Perhaps it is a parabola that goes up and then down, or a spiral. We don’t know. All we can say is that the art market has developed, which affects the art itself. With what we call contemporary art, words and explanations are always worth more.
Visual arts have been transformed by articles and critical essays; meanwhile, the works themselves have become mute. In the theater, the curators and critics have taken up the front row. This is my view on the difference between contemporary and traditional art.
I personally prefer art measured in human dimensions: art that whispers and doesn’t shout, art that covers me and makes me fly and does not crush. But I must confess, some of these modern things attract me; for example, mural painting (graffiti) and abstract things.
Yes, most definitely [we can draw a line from traditional to contemporary art]. Many of the same techniques are used, just in slightly different ways and with different tools. The same principles apply, however you create art.
I see a line particularly running through the stylized form of Japanese art such as Hokusai and contemporary stylized graphic illustration.