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Art Trends 2022

If you’re looking for some unique artwork, turn to the biggest trends of the new year. Read on to discover what the most popular artwork will be in 2022.

Art trends keep changing throughout the years, just as gastronomic tastes, interiors, and sartorial preferences change with time. Art constantly reinvents itself, and the quest for newness and uniqueness lies at the heart of artistic creativity. Unlike an art movement driven by ideals, trends in art tend to be more consumer-driven. There are always many kinds of art created in the world, and everyone has their own tastes and particular preferences when it comes to art. However, consumers, collectors, and curators often influence which styles of art will become popular trends.

Over the past decade millennials, seeking experiences over possessions, helped drive the trend for immersive experiential art. This trend fuelled the popularity of artists like Yayoi Kusama and Ai Wei Wei. After two years of global upheaval, 2022 will be an exciting year for the art world, sure to build on the trends of digitization we have seen over the past two years. The trends for crypto art will, no doubt, continue to shoot up in popularity. But, immersive in-person experiences and other art trends may fall by the wayside in the post-pandemic world.

The art world has already witnessed influential genres such as impressionism or pop art which have grown almost out of nowhere to become the dominant artistic style of a period. But it is always seen, a new trend emerges and contemporary artworks take their place. Some art trends, like classical architecture, can even be revived centuries later, as seen in the neoclassical period. It would not be pertinent to say art trends often follow, or in some cases, lead to political and social changes.

Herendra Swarup

The trend for virtual art has seen an exponential boost from the Covid-19 pandemic. Out of sheer necessity, virtual art events have adapted and become more sophisticated, allowing artists to reach global audiences even during a period where most people can no longer travel. As artist Herendra Swarup from Faridabad puts it, “Looking at the current situation arising due to Covid, the scope of online galleries is going to increase in time to come, since the public events are going to decrease. Footfall in the physical galleries is already on the decline. The art trend has a high inclination towards abstract art followed by contemporary art, modern art and sculptures.”

Museums, galleries, and art events such as Art Basel have turned to online platforms to create virtual artistic experiences. These art events are available digitally so that audiences can enjoy them anywhere in the world, all from the comfort of their homes.

According to a prominent artist, Praneet Kanchan from Noida, “Technology has made inroads into every aspect of our lives and artists and art have not been left untouched either. People have been using technology to get informed, entertained and inspired and in keeping with this trend art and art galleries have been moving online. This has resulted in art being consumed online and has provided another medium for artists to be discovered and sell their art. This trend has become stronger with Covid-led restrictions on human movement.”

Kanchan observes, “Another very strong trend that is just in its early stages is that of NFT for visual arts. Here technology is used to first establish tamper-proof ownership of an artist over his art piece and then using the reach of internet to provide a marketplace to sell the NFT. NFTs are being adopted by many artists and famous art galleries of the world.”

While many 2022 art trends focus on technology, there’s also a counter-trend for artworks focused on natural beauty. Nature has always been a popular theme in art as a form of escapism from the stress of fast-track urban life. Artists seek reconnection with the natural world and offer audiences some much-needed respite from the confines of their living rooms. Other artists embrace nature themes as their view or comment on the global climate change and represent the climate crisis through their art. Says senior artist Baban Mane from Mumbai, “From my point of view the art of 2022 is the landscape abstract in the brightest colours, the beauty and rhythm in these paintings can be a riot of colours. In the past two years during Covid pandemic many painters did a lot of detailed work from the studio. I think all the colour associations in 2022 can be in this bright colour because bright colours make all the people happy and excited.”

Even though the 2020 outbreak of the pandemic put a rude brake on art fairs all over the world, 2021 saw a gradual comeback of physical fairs, with fewer cancellations and extensive rethinking and planning of the event calendar. A majority of art fairs intend to go ahead this year as well, as the art world seems upbeat about the year unfolding. Says Ananda Das, “In fact, gallery apps will grow and exhibitions will be more immersive”. He goes on to add, “Urban art is inspired by lifestyle and architecture. In 2022, it remains all the more popular type of virtual art worldwide. The contemporary form of art, which is often associated with street art and graffiti art, attracts thousands of people with its bold themes, diversity of colours and profound meaning.”

As the art world experiments with new mediums, we cannot but think of neon lights. When you think of neon, you probably think of the Vegas strip or Times Square in New York, not your drawing room or the bedroom. However, artists like Glenn Ligon, Tracey Emin and Jung Lee have been driving a trend for bright neon artworks for the past few years. Now the trend is moving from the gallery to the wall of our homes, as neon artworks pick up in popularity and become a mainstream trend. Agrees artist Vivek Singh from Delhi, “The Art world has taken leaps and bounds from simple paintings on canvas of landscape scenery and portraits to abstracts, 3D painting on canvas, graffiti done on walls depicting and displaying subtle messages on certain topics. The images are created in bright vibrant neon colours, and with the pandemic not showing signs of going away… exhibitions have gone online. LED light shows combined with audio beaming artworks on canvases like walls of buildings, windows of sky scrapers like that of Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the currently concluded beating of the retreat where in the evening one thousand drones used to depict an image in the sky, and images beamed in to the defence Headquarters and Govt Ministerial buildings of North and South Block in New Delhi on Jan 29, 2022.

Art is not just restricted to paints. Artists are using recycled plastic, cloth and other waste material including electronic components to make portraits and landscapes. It is dedicated to the tireless and passionate work of artists. These are the new trends of 2022 and are fast evolving. “These new forms of painting using varied scraps of material when put together looks like a painting but on closer look the story of how the images come together on canvas is completely different,” adds abstractionist Vivek.

But one thing that needs to be kept in mind is art trends will always come and go, but serious art collectors will keep a watch on trends within popular or cutting-edge artworks. One must accept that art is highly subjective, and many people collect art for sheer joy, not because it is trendy or lucrative investment.

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