Understanding Contemporary Art

Mar 15,2017

Hi! I have started this column to share my passion of visual arts with you. Paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations - the list goes on. Contemporary art moves boundaries and regularly expands to include new inventions. It is like a language we use: a living being. 

During my art talks I meet a lot of people and what I've noticed is that when we touch upon the subject of contemporary art, most of them have the exact same remark: “Is it really art? I don’t understand it”. So I thought I would share a few tips with you that might be useful while visiting Art Dubai, Sikka Art Fair or any other art event this month (oh, my favourite March!). 

Art is not only a feast for the eye (i.e. visual arts in a traditional way). Nowadays it includes gesture, action and a lot more. Thanks to the "dada"(European avant-garde art movement) there are a lot of readymades as well. So, when you see something that is not easy to grasp, get information such as - What did the artist want to say. Instead of asking yourself: “Do I like it?” rather ask: “Do I like the message it is conveying?” Quite often contemporary artists create their artworks to make you think rather than simply please your eyes. Therefore, art can be disturbing, even unpleasant to look at. You might be puzzled: why is it called art and why was it created? (Read these answers in my future posts).  

Continuing the previous thought, art is not always something that you should want to buy just to hang in your living room. It has not been created for decorative purposes. “Will it match my sofa and curtains?” – Not always. Does it matter? You are here to interact with the piece of art and if it drags you deeper and deeper, the artist has reached their goal.  

I do hope these basic ideas were useful. See you at Art Week!


About the writer: 

Katerina Baginskaya’s career in art can be traced back to 2004 when she joined the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was appointed to the Russian embassy in Abu Dhabi as Chief of Protocol and Cultural Attaché. Later, she studied art history at Oxford University and in 2013 founded an art gallery in Dubai. Her passion for arts has lead her to contribute to numerous publications and seminars over the years. Along with completing multiple courses on art education from Russia and the US Katerina has also a degree in teaching from Moscow Pedagogical State University.

For more information, please visit: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BaginskayaArtEducation/   Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/baginskaya_art_education/