True originality is hard to achieve when we consider the legacy of Hirst’s formaldehyde tanks and diamond skulls and Tracey Emin’s unmade bed. The rise of digital influences on contemporary art must also be changing techniques and methods of working. But some emerging artists are still employing new and unconventional techniques and methodologies to unleash their creativity.
Christian Rosa has become one of the most sought after painters. He works in pencil, spray paint and oil allowing instinct to create abstract painted worlds on large canvas. His paintings can be chaotic, dense, always eloquent and interesting, they have been compared to automatic writing.
Many artist are embracing the digital age and we now see the use of Photoshop and illustrator in the works of artist like Jeff Elrod who explores the relationship between classical hand painting and digitally created mark making. He has dubbed his analogue and digital combination method ‘frictionless painting’. His work is now keenly collected and is being called the ‘new abstract’.
Mixed media is an all-encompassing description which may mean a combination of oils and acrylics or of buttons and crayons. One of the most original and clever emerging artists currently working in ‘mixed media’ is Marcel Eichner. The Berlin based artist has gained notoriety with his haunting paintings where the surreal and the ordinary spin out in chaos. The artist uses ink, acrylics and gouache to produce unique art works which are not comfortable to categorize or enjoy, but they do provoke the emotions and draw the viewer into this world of dreams and nightmares.
Street art has long since left its ‘graffiti’ title and the debate about art or vandalism behind to see the emergence of strong artists who command respect and admiration. Ben Long is one unusual artist who maintains that he is making the mundane marvelous by producing amazing travelling artwork on the back of dirty vehicles and creating sculptures from scaffolding poles. Long seems to embrace the impermanence of his art just as much as he embraces the diversity of his tools.
Art can be made from practically anything. Some art is junk and some can be called junk. Artist Tom Deininger uses all manner of discarded objects, metal, trash, car boot sale items to produce highly original art. Known as the junk artist, his sculptures and portraits are a joy to behold. The artist is an environmentalist and his work reflects his belief in the beauty that surrounds us. His rabbit sculpture made entirely from old cigarette butts, is a case in point.
It is astounding that creatives continue to find new techniques and tools with which to express themselves in unique and wondrous ways. The overall artistic vision is achieved regardless of, or with the incorporation of, any number of diverse art supplies and media. We never cease to be amazed.