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Running head: THE VOICE OF ART THROUGH CONTEMPORARY ARTISTRY 1
The Voice of Art through Contemporary Artistry
Student’s Name
Institution
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THE VOICE OF ART THROUGH CONTEMPORARY ARTISTRY 2
The Voice of Art through Contemporary Artistry
Artistry is a form of expressionism that has been in use for centuries. The various
artforms I have engaged with in the entirety of this course exemplify how artists in their various
disciplines voice their ideas through contemporary art. However, for artists to successfully
communicate with their audiences, the latter must know how to engage with and interpret the art.
This response thereby highlights how I interpreted the different forms of contemporary artwork
throughout this course.
Contemporary artforms are increasingly incorporating digital technologies to produce
more interactive works of art. Adamson and Wilson (n.d.) assert that “code is the new pigment
and control boards are the new palettes.” I found this phrase important because it explains how
digitalization has changed art in the modern age. On the other hand, the use of ephemeral
materials in artistry, such as clay, fosters a better understanding on the core tenets that correlate
traditional and contemporary artforms. The video by Scott (n.d.) brings about various ideas about
the use of clay by bringing out the traditional approach, creation theory, and how technology has
been used to make molding easier.
Expressionism through art is further portrayed by Barbara Kruger’s artwork who aims to
capture insightful truths in various aspects of power and politics. According to Rosenbaum
(2012), Barbara is a mass media artist who has refashioned contemporary idioms to create
critical thought processes for over thirty years. Ideally, Kruger’s work is critical and intrinsic in
addressing societal issues amassed in power struggles. Through her artwork, Kruger has raised
critical thought processes and discourses regarding popular culture, especially the defining
attributes of modern-day values entrenched in consumerism, value, and materialism. Conversely,
DeSouza’s expressionist approach entails discussions about some of the commonly used to
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THE VOICE OF ART THROUGH CONTEMPORARY ARTISTRY 3
highlight art as a form of expression. However, instead of elaborating the genealogies and
meanings of these terms, DeSouza (2018a) considers more of the values that they convey in the
contemporary art world through critical thought development. Therefore, artists seek to express
themselves through an audience that can read into their insightful ideas about the society.
The redefinition of contemporary art involves influencing modern-day discourses, for
example in the works of Artist Robin Rhode. Rhode incorporates cultural and political views that
capture the plight of society. The South African artist whose primary inspiration comes from art
history and street culture imbues an approach which entails the use of public spaces, such as
walls, to develop static images into ones that capture motion, thus signifying the dynamism of
his immediate community as well as the plight they face (Art21, 2018). On the other hand,
artists, such as Allison Freedman Weisberg, the founder of Recess, build bridges between
traditional forms of museum art and indigenous artwork performed in public spaces (Roffino,
2018). I concur with the artist’s argument that there are no reasons why audiences who embody
community-based forms of art should be considered different from the people who visit art
galleries and museums.
Contemporary artistry is also actively transforming social cultures. While most people
would argue cultural artwork, such as Nongkrong, as counterproductive, Dhal (2016) asserts that
it forms the foundation of relationship building in Indonesia through shared mutual space
between members of a society, thus bolstering social cohesion. Additionally, through creativity
and arts, the development of neighbourhoods, and community enhancement, PHR has shown that
imbuing artistry in the society is a critical source of transforming the people (Gilkey, 2019). This
social sculptural approach of community-based artistry has led to the transformation of the
infrastructure within historically overlooked communities, thereby highlighting how
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THE VOICE OF ART THROUGH CONTEMPORARY ARTISTRY 4
contemporary artists can influence the structure of the overall society. Art as a voice is also
highlighted in Whitewalling by Aruna D’Souza as well as Reading at the Edge of the World
(D'Souza, 2018b; Policarpio & Reyes, 2019). The former highlights a reflection on three core
events in the anxious and long history of race and art in the United States, while the latter asserts
that through the practice of readership, the authors offer a confluence of intentional kinship and
sharing ideas while developing strategic interactions with other writers, curators, scholars, and
artists.
All these forms of art depict how artwork can be used to strategically communicate a
diversity of messages to various audiences. Additionally, the studied artists highlight various
ways of interacting/understanding the self, others and their culture, and raising opinions and
discourses regarding issues facing the society. Therefore, through these artforms, I now view
artistry as a predominant voice in the contemporary world.
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THE VOICE OF ART THROUGH CONTEMPORARY ARTISTRY 5
References
Adamson, G., & Wilson, J. B. (n.d.). Digitizing- Art in the making.
Art21 (2018, September 21). Robin Rhode in "Johannesburg": Art in the twenty-first century
(Season 9). Art in the Twenty-First Century. Retrieved from art21.org/watch/art-in-the-
twenty-first-century/s9/robin-rhode-in-johannesburg-segment/
Dahl, S. (2016). Nongkrong and non-productive time in Yogyakarta’s contemporary arts. Parse
Journal, 1(4), 107-119.
DeSouza, A. (2018). How art can be spoken: A glossary of contested terms. In How art can be
thought: A handbook for change (pp. 85-249). Durham, UK: Duke University Press.
D'Souza, A. (2018). Whitewalling: Art, race & protest in 3 acts. New York, NY: Badlands
Unlimited.
Gilkey, E. (2019). Commentary: Project Row Houses: Arts, Culture, and Collective Creative
Action. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 4(4), 334-335.
Policarpio, P. J. G. & Reyes, J. (2019, October 4). Reading at the edge of the world: The horizon
toward which we move (Part 1). Art21. Retrieved from art21.org/read/reading-at-the-
edge-of-the-world-part-1/
Roffino, S. (2018, November 16). Recess founder Allison Freedman Weisberg is transforming
the discourse around public art. Cultured Art. Retrieved from
www.culturedmag.com/recess-allison-freedman-weisberg/
Rosenbaum, R. (2012, July). Barbara Kruger’s artwork speaks truth to power. Smithsonian
Magazine. Retrieved from www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/barbara-krugers-
artwork-speaks-truth-to-power-137717540/
Scott, S. J. (n.d.). Esphemeral material.

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