The visual arts are art forms such as ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, architecture, design, video, filmmaking, photography and crafts (jewellery making, metal crafting, interior design). Other artistic disciplines like the conceptual arts, performing arts and textile arts also incorporate parts of visual arts. Applied arts such as graphic design, industrial design, fashion design, interior design and decorative art also fall under this category.
Current usage of the term “visual arts” includes fine art as well as the applied, decorative arts and crafts, but this was not always the case. Before the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and elsewhere at the turn of the 20th century, the term ‘artist’ was often restricted to a person working in the fine arts (such as painting, sculpture, or printmaking) and not the handicraft, craft, or applied art media. The distinction was emphasized by artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, who valued vernacular art forms as much as high forms. Art schools made a distinction between the fine arts and the crafts, maintaining that a craftsperson could not be considered a practitioner of the arts.
The increasing tendency to privilege painting, and to a lesser degree sculpture, above other arts has been a feature of Western art as well as East Asian art. In both regions painting has been seen as relying to the highest degree on the imagination of the artist, and the furthest removed from manual labour – in Chinese painting the most highly valued styles were those of “scholar-painting”, at least in theory practiced by gentleman amateurs. The Western hierarchy of genres reflected similar attitudes.
As a visual art-form, Graffiti has with time become a mainstay and very beautiful form of expression I have come to appreciate even more. The freedom to expressively impose art on a big platform/wall utilising that as a chance to strike a connection with a varied collective of individuals from different walks of life is a good one. The ability to use graffiti as a platform to express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is what peaked my interest in the art form. As a contemporary sub-culture and within hip hop culture, graffiti have evolved alongside hip hop music, breakdancing and other elements.
The likes of Vaughn Bode, Futura 2000, Sabre, Eine, Revok, 123Klan, Seen, Dondi, Banksy, and Odeith (just to name a few) have sustained my interest and attention.
Attached are a few images of some graffiti art pieces.
Portuguese street artist Odeith produces mind blowing anarmorphic graffiti art, creating the illusion of 3 dimensional letters.
Futura formerly known as “Futura 2000″is an American graffiti artist. He started to paint illegally on New York’s subway in the early seventies. In the early eighties he showed with Patti Astor at the Fun Gallery, along with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Hambleton and Kenny Scharf. Futura painted backdrops live on-stage for British punk rock band The Clash’s 1981 European tour. More recently, he is a successful graphic designer and gallery artist. One of the most distinctive features of Futura’s work is his abstract approach to graffiti art. While the primary focus, during the 1980s, of the majority of graffiti artists was lettering, Futura pioneered abstract street art, which has since become more popular. Conversely, his aerosol strokes are regarded as different from those of his peers, as they are as thin as the fine lines achieved only through the use of an airbrush.
Banksy is an England-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director of unverified identity. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. Banksy’s work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. Observers have noted that his style is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris. Banksy says that he was inspired by “3D”, a graffiti artist who later became a founding member of Massive Attack, an English musical group.
Banksy displays his art on publicly visible surfaces such as walls and self-built physical prop pieces.
From highlighting the plight of inhabitants in Palestine ( graffiti works on the west bank barrier), to the works that poured scorn on the Olympic games in the most subtle of ways, Banksy’s art continues to strike the right nerve.
I’ve always appreciated painting. Not just as a visual art-form but as a therapeutic release from stress and an outlet for communicating the many ideas, be they confrontational, rebellious or just humorous. As a mode of expression that could become an area of specialty, I’ve tried in times past to indulge myself in the use and practice of various paint mediums i.e acrylic paints, poster colours, oil colours, gouaches. While I am still on that journey to be able to determine exactly what path I intend to take, the following artists are sources of inspiration in this field of study.
I am in constant appreciation of James Jean’s art style. His paintings and illustrations are often suffused with a dreamy romanticism and lyricism worthy of Maxfield Parrish. Jean’s imaginative compositions feature ethereal figures; fluid in motion, and graceful in gesture. His fantasy dreamscapes capture compelling moments, often represented beyond the laws of gravity, on an undefined plane. Incorporating traditional symbol
ism and dynamic narratives, his works introduces finely rendered imagery created with a unique aesthetic, extraordinarily kinetic style and sophisticated color palette. The subjects glide through the tableaux, tracing a narrative of thwarted desires. His subtle yet suggestive themes of metamorphosis, mortality, and sexuality blend together seamlessly, bridging the gap between the real and imagined.
EL-DRAGG LEONARD OKWOJU
El Dragg hails from the Delta region of Nigeria in West Africa. He is one of Nigeria’s foremost painters .He attended the University of Benin which is situated in historical city of Benin in Nigeria.Although famous for it’s ancient bronze sculptures and its rich cultural heritage, the modern city of Benin has a thriving art community at the University of Benin where El Dragg is a senior lecturer in painting. Even before he graduated from the University of Benin in Nigeria in 1985, he was already a well known name in the Nigerian art community, and his paintings have remained sought after in Nigeria and the Diaspora .Most of El-Dragg’s paintings are done in oils. his love for the beauty, colour and diversity of the Nigerian culture is evident in his work. His forte seems to be bringing out the elegance, beauty and diversity of the female figure. It would almost appear as if he has the anatomy of the female figure etched in his memory. With a temperament to match Michelangelo’s, he can be fiery and feisty when it comes to taking a stand for what he believes in, and he will voice his opinion without fear.