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What are visual arts?

We explain what Visual Art is, its history and what this artistic discipline is for. In addition, how it is classified and its characteristics.

  1. What are visual arts?

The visual arts refer to a set of techniques and artistic disciplines that range from traditional plastic arts , to the most innovative and unconventional trends that take advantage of the new technologies available, such as digital art, urban art and other more emerging during the XX century and what goes of XXI.

These terms are used to insist on the common dimension that encompasses so many different techniques and resources, and that is the  visual , understood as that which requires the viewer’s attention to perceive through the gaze the details that make up the work.

However, this term can become a bit arbitrary, if we consider that in cases such as video art other senses are also involved .

The list of visual arts is large, and includes traditional and other innovative techniques, even incorporating certain performing arts such as performance , in which it deprives the visual perception of artistic events.

In that sense, it has served as an object of study to disciplines of interpretation such as psychology ( gestalt ), interested in the way we perceive reality and organize it mentally.

In that sense, visual art  pays close attention to the dynamics in its works between the background and the represented figure , between the contour, the tendencies towards the grouping of the elements and the way in which mood, aesthetic and even ethical around the perceived.

  1. History of the visual arts

Traditional plastic arts have their own history, since they come from the oldest times of humanity, especially painting and sculpture . However, after the change of technological paradigm that meant the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent technological revolutions of the twentieth century, today there are modern aspects such as photography or cinema , and even more recent ones such as video art, net.art ( Internet art), Land Art or the  happening  or  performance . The history of visual art is that of an increasingly daring innovation .

  1. What are visual arts for?

Visual art
Visual Art can open your eyes regarding certain meanings that are not considered.

Let’s agree that art , as Oscar Wilde said, is useless. That is, it does not have a practical utility , it is not economically interchangeable nor does it serve to repair the stove when it is damaged in winter.

However, visual art often has decorative applications in homes, buildings or simply in the city , such as urban art ( street  art ) that can give the viewer some sense of harmony or on the contrary open their eyes regarding certain meanings that Normally, he doesn’t even consider.

  1. Classification of visual arts

The visual arts are numerous and that includes at least the following categories:

  • Traditional plastic arts : painting, sculpture, architecture, drawing , engraving.
  • 20th century visual arts : photography, cinema, kinetic art, abstract art , Land art (art with the earth or the ground itself), urban art, graffiti , performance.
  • Digital or new age arts: video art (multimedia art), net.art, digital art, fanart and facilities (conjunction of sculpture, painting and various plastic elements around a given space).
  1. Characteristics of visual art

Visual art
Visual Arts can use techniques, forms or traditions and combine them with others.

Visual art, understood as a global category, has the following characteristics:

  • Transdisciplinarity . This term means that the visual arts move between different disciplines, instead of being stuck in one or respecting the “borders” between them. In principle you can use any technique, form or tradition and combine it with any other that is convenient.
  • Tends to appropriation . The visual arts tend to recycle previous and traditional trends and explorations, and to resignify them with new layers of meaning through interventions and ironic turns.
  • It is a global art . It is handled very well in the heterogeneous and contaminated imaginary of globalization , where few things are considered “pure” or “immovable” and mix and dare is valued.
  • Manage exposure strategies . He is not content with museums and controlled spaces, but invades the urban, goes out in search of the spectator and often demands from him some collaboration or some complicity to form the work.

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