4 Forms of Art You Should Know About

Art and aesthetics are everywhere. With its own unique form with respect to its need. While it is difficult to know about all of them, here's four forms of art you should know about.


Performance Art

Traditionally, live-action was only a component of theater or forms of dances. In 1960s, inspired from abstract expression, artists decided to integrate the idea of live-action into art. Harold Rosenberg said, “The canvas begin to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act.. what was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event.” This gave birth to “performance art”. Instead of encapsulation, the medium of this art becomes the body itself and it could be live or recorded, scripted or unscripted using components like time, space, actions and events. Performance art emphasises on audience and the artist to breaking the barrier of the fourth wall and engage in it, together.


Marina Abramovic is the first name that follows after performance art. In 1974, she staged Rhythm 0, a terrifying performance art. She had to stand still and it included a few props or objects for the audience to use however they wanted, it included a rose, perfume, nails, sugar, a loaded pistol among other things. While many people handed a rose or kissed her, many were extremes. Someone pointed the gun at her, someone removed her clothes. Another famous performance art is The Artist is Present, where she sat on an armchair and invited the audience to sit in front of her and looked them in eyes. Many mentioned it was intense and a few cried. Inspired from this, Jay Z made a performance art film (music video) of his song Picasso Baby, featuring Marina Ambramovic. Other prominent performance arts are Self Obliteration by Ron Athey, How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare by Joseph Beuys and Measuring the Universe by Roman Ondak.

Marina Abramovic, Rhythm 0

LSD Blotter Art

In the 50s and 60s, American drug dealers used to sell LSDs in the form of pills, capsules, sugar cubes and other forms. When selling LSD became illegal, drug dealers took it up a notch and started using saturating absorbent blotting paper dipped with LSD. Then, holes were made in lines to create a grid, making it easy for the distribution of doses. Initially, the graphic on these sheets hinted the origin of LSD. Eventually, these graphics became more creative creating an entire genre. Now, undipped blotter art is a collectable with many sites catering specifically for this.


Blotter Art

Rotoscope Animation

Between 1914-1916, Max Fleisher came up with the idea that revolutionised animation – Rotoscope Animation. It is a technique used by animators, where they use a live-action footage as reference and draw over each frame, for both motion reference or for direct copy of the footage. It is one of the oldest techniques of animation that ensured a more realistic movement. Max Fleisher recorded a video of his brother dancing in a clown costume. Then, he used a projector with amplified brightness that was projected on a screen with tracing paper. Each frame was played and captured by him in the form on animation. The results were unbelievable and so was the quality of animation.


These days, rotoscoping is also used in VFX for scenes that are too expensive, dangerous or altogether impossible to shoot. A few examples of rotoscoped movies are Snow White, Cinderella and Girl Who Leapt Through Time. In 2017, Loving Vincent was hand painted by 125 artists with over 65,000 frames using rotoscope.


Patent Drawing for Max Fleischer's Original Rotoscope

Pop Art

In the 50s, many countries witnessed the size of capitalism, celebrity culture, consumer culture, advertisement and whatnot. As the name suggests, Pop Art uses the images of popular culture such as, comic book, advertisement and other cultural objects. These graphics possesed mass appeal. Pop Art’s rise was around the time the focus from abstract expressiomism was shifting. Thus, it is noted that Pop Art catered to the same ideas. Lawrence Alloway wrote, “Pop Art is neither abstract nor realistic, though it has contacts in both direction.” The idea of Pop Art was to challenge the Fine Art by picking up a subject so mundane that makes one question if it could be considered art at all.


One of the prominent Pop Art works is Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans illustration. He hung 32 of the pieces, one of each of the canned soup the company offered that time, at Ferus Gallery, California.


32 Campbell Soup Cans by Andy Warhol

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