We have all seen the guy in the beret standing unmoving at the same painting for twenty minutes, just staring. If you have not had much experience in art, you may not know the artist that he is looking at, much less what he is looking for in the painting. But, with a rudimentary knowledge of art, anyone can learn to appreciate art for what it has to offer. The following are three terms that you can easily discuss and learn more about, and they act as a great springboard into the deeper world of art.
1. Contemporary Art
You will find no contemporary artists from hundreds of years ago. And all artists now are contemporary artists. Contemporary art is happening right now. It is the period that developed from postmodern art. All you need to remember is that all art today is contemporary art, no matter the style. Like 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight are contemporary literature even though they differ in styles.
2. Abstract Art
This can be one of the hardest art concepts to grasp. The technical definition is a use of visual language of form, line and color, to create composition that may exist with a degree of independence from visual references to the world. This simply means that it does not have to be a picture of an apple, it can be squiggles, swirls, splashes of color, and nothing recognizable as coherent, but still be art representing an apple. A lot of people tend to argue this as art, as it does not have that definitive, obvious image present. But you can find some truly moving abstract art that is much more beautiful or horrifying or heartbreaking than any actual image could produce. I like to think of abstract art as painting emotions, not images. Some famous Abstract artists are Barnett Newman, Pier Mondrian, and Theo van Doesberg.
3. Modern Art
Modern artists created somewhere in the time between the 1860s to the 1970s. It is best known as a time in which the modern artists experimented more, and threw aside past conventions of what art actually was in history. The artists not only expanded their styles of painting, but the very nature of materials and functions of art as well. They tended to stray from straight narrative and even dabbled in the abstract concepts. And this art style led to Postmodern, which then gave us Contemporary. So Modern Art is the grandaddy of Contemporary. Some famous Modern artists include Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Cezanne.
Art can be accessed by millions all over the globe, right through their internet connections. Some is more easily understood and appreciated than others, but any exposure is a good start. Plus, learning little aspects here and there can open up whole new worlds of appreciation, allowing you to look at the same piece in a variety of ways. Start out small and work your way into the art world, you will not regret it.