Monday, January 31, 2011

Is “Edgy” Art Here to Stay?

Take heart artists! Some paintings are selling these days, but most of them are “edgy.” If that’s a new term for you, you’re not alone.

Henri Matisse -- The Sad King

My first experience with this novel art form was when I saw two paintings gobbled up by art collectors. One was a blue labrador retriever, and the other was a calico pit bull. The odd-color themes are not only being played out in animals, flowers and birds, but in landscape and seascape compositions. Humor is also part of the mix, and labels like “whimsy” or “fantasy” no longer cut it.

“Edgy” is perhaps the best way to describe artists who push their creativity beyond the bounds of traditional realism in style, color, and medium. It’s funky, groovy, and extremely popular right now. The colors are bright and bold; the lines are hard and well-defined and design elements play a large role in adding texture, pattern, and interest.

Henri Matisse -- Dance Creole

Sometimes humor plays a large role either in the title or through a play on words or elements in the painting. Edgy paintings become huge conversation pieces and the focal point of interest in any room by virtue of their commanding color and design. But is it really any different from art movements and styles of the last century?

Henri Matisse -- Blue Nude


I’ve scattered some paintings by Henri Matisse and Joan Miro throughout this article. If you didn’t know better, it would be easy to assume that these paintings are examples of the new “Edgy.” They certainly meet that definition; most of the modernists and contemporary artists of the past do.


Joan Miro

On this basis, will Edgy remain a viable art form or will this popular trend become yesterday’s fad? Will the public continue its current love affair, or will they grow tired of Edgy’s outrageous, sometimes nonsensical tirades?

I toy with the idea of trying the genre, but I’m torn between following fashion or sticking with what I know and do best. Still, the craze continues to catch on and the sounds of “ca-ching” are pulling me in that direction.

Joan Miro

I’d love to hear your opinions and feelings on the subject.