What Makes Contemporary Art?

A partner and senior board advisor at Olesis Management, Jacinto Solivellas de Oleza has almost two decades of investment and wealth management experience. Outside of his career, Jacinto Solivellas de Oleza has developed a vast collection of contemporary artwork and donates funds to museums that promote contemporary art.

Contemporary art is art produced by artists living in the 21st century or any works created in the last 50 years that reflect the social, political, and technological milieu of the time. Often contemporary art challenges the traditional views and ideas of what good or pleasing art is. Although it is difficult to define specific characteristics of contemporary art, the following is a general list of qualities one may see in today’s contemporary art:

1. Not associated with politics or religion. Contemporary art isn’t funded by institutions and more often conveys a personal message.
2. Rebellious. Many contemporary artists aim to be unique and shocking.
3. Multicultural. Contemporary art is often more global in perspective than art of the past.
4. Technologically advanced. Technology is used as either inspiration for pieces or to produce the pieces.
5. Focused on pop culture or modern issues. Today’s art focuses on issues such as acid rain and AIDS as well as pop culture.

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