Painting a Future: How Art Trends in 2021 Will Seek to Rebuild and Reconnect
Now 2020 has drawn to a close, the world takes a collective sigh as we look to the future and decide how best to heal, commemorate, and continue on. We ask two of our Paintru artists how they see the art world moving forward and to speak to the 2021 art trends we can expect in the coming year.
In September 1888, Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother, Theo. Among what had become the usual requests for financial support and exclamations of gratitude, he mused, ‘The more I think it over, the more I think that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.’ It is a letter of hope and anticipation, as Van Gogh writes at length about the sourcing of art supplies, new ideas and friends, both old and new.
Standing at the beginning of 2021, one cannot help but imagine Van Gogh extending a paint-stained hand from the coastal city of 19th century Arles, France, to the rest of the world. This was a man for whom art and love – and living – were synonymous.
Battered as we are from the past year, we would do well to remember Van Gogh’s maxim and to heal through the art and artists our current world offers us.
Artist Uzoma Ndulue, based in Phoenix, Arizona, sees future art trends as representations, even remedies, for the absence of physical family relationships many have experienced in the last year.
'I think because we have been forced to stay indoors, and are separated, there will be a lot more focus on the self. I, for one, have been reflecting a lot on my family, and it shows in the art works that I have been producing recently…physical touch might also be explored.’
Self portrait, Uzoma Ndulue
There is a beauty in this utilitarian approach, grown out of necessity and longing: to view art as an extension of socialization, a replacement for missed human rituals, is a perspective that will surely pervade trends in art and design throughout 2021.
Methods of sharing, too, through which most artists worked during the pandemic, have provided further scope for creativity. Uzoma notes that artists are becoming more entrepreneurial than ever, ‘I believe the last year propelled artists to start becoming entrepreneurs by handling their art businesses with their social media and websites. This pandemic has shown us that technology is inevitably the future.’
Artists sharing and selling their work over social media provided a creative outlet and tonic to many throughout 2020; art trends continue to grow in this way, allowing artists to reach more individuals than ever before.
In 2021, the notion of art forging a connection from artist to viewer will be explored with new vigor; just as many have relied on technology to bring us closer together, technology will lead the way in our experiences of artworks. New connections will be formed, making way for an invigorated and much-needed swell of creativity.
At Paintru, we are honored to be part of the art community, supporting artists by showcasing their work and starting valued conversations–both verbal and visual.
The work of visual artist, Paige Pflueger from Phoenix, Arizona, has long focused on the power of human connection and touch.
Heavily influenced by her classical training in Florence, she explores ‘the power in the human touch…depicting the unspoken relationship one can have with their own body or with another person.’
Original artwork by Paige Pflueger
Her work is visceral and conceived with unflinching humane realism: a powerful spectrum through which to view the post-pandemic world.
For Paige, art trends in 2021 will manifest as a response to the pain felt by many throughout 2020. She, like Uzoma, cites not only the pandemic but also the poignant, polarized, and heart-breaking political moments the year brought, ‘It was a difficult year for so many people,’ she says.
‘The best way to heal is to make art about it.’
We were honored to create this work commemorating Ahmaud Arbery.
Pflueger's work heals as a stark evocation of what it is to be human; figures are stripped of superfluous possessions and paraphernalia. This humanizing trend will continue throughout 2021; expect to see artworks evoking the power of emotion and celebrating the joy of company, whether physical or remote.
Original artwork by Paige Pflueger
Speaking to art medium, Paige notes digital painting becoming more popular.
‘I have been loving the option to create on my iPad using the app ProCreate. It is so versatile and so easy to have all your supplies right in front of you’. This points toward another element of an artwork movement we expect to see: more expression from more artists, both professional and those who are exploring creative release.
Original digital painting by Paige Pflueger
2021 will see art trends utilize the digital age more than ever. The way we view, interact with, and buy art becomes increasingly inclusive: for 2021, art is the great equalizer.
Likewise, as ever, art will manifest as a connective force, a medicine for humanity, both the individual and universal reaction to a year that is impossible to put into words. Trends for 2021 will see an attempt to connect and heal, to make sense of year of loss. In 2021, we can surely all feel the weight of that true and worthy idea: that nothing is more artistic than to love.