5 Art Trends of 2021

The Global Pandemic has changed the art world we know with galleries, artists and the way we view and collect art has had to adapt and resulted in multiple key changes that we will most likely see more of in the future. This primarily includes virtual art spaces taking more of a prevalent space in the art world, including more online exhibitions, virtual installations and even artwork that looks more closely at the way we experience nature. These are five possible trends that you may see coming in and beyond 2021. 

1. Virtual Exhibitions

While the world was in lockdown during 2020, museums and galleries had to make quick online alternatives to the way we viewed artwork. This not only continued to provide cultural stimulation for u at home, but simultaneously provided opportunities to artists who no longer had access to physical gallery spaces. Making this an ongoing trend in 2021! And it looks like its here to stay. 

Major art museums have already started to make this a more prominent feature of the way they work. It has granted them certain advantages like begin abel to display high resolution art exhibitions. One example is the Matisse exhibition at the Centre Pompidou. These kind of shows have inevitably opened up a whole host of online and artistic experiences for many more people than would normally have access to, especially if you wish to attend an exhibition in another country or continent! 

2.  Increase of 3D and Graphic Design

Another key and growing trend in 2021's art world is the growing exploration of 3D Graphic design - an exciting art form that has encouraged artists from all over the world to try new digital techniques including re-invented online 'cities' with otherworldly, animated scenes.

Inspiration for these worlds have been inspired by the almost apocalyptic view of our streets and cities the world over. Two examples include; Vadim Soloviov's (@solovyewadim), re-envisioned city of Saint Petersburg with flying stingrays in the sky. Or motion designer, ShaneF (@shanef3D), who took to New York street corners with joyful 3D art including floating hearts and translucent pipes that held racing packages. 

Love Hearts in the streets of New York, by ShaneF

3. Appreciation for Nature

Nature has inspired artists since the dawn of time, but after the Covid-19 pandemic it has taken on an even bigger meaning in history. Artists have turned to nature with fresh eyes, almost realising its full potency once again. Under lockdown at home for weeks and months, naturally reinvigorated artists relationship with the outdoors unlike ever before. As we sought to reconnect with nature new innovative pieces have been born including the likes of David Hockney's $35 million dollar landscape that later sold at Phillips. Illuminating the priceless value of capturing nature during such a turbulent time in history. We can only imagine that undoubtedly, new representations of the natural world will only continue to hold new meaning moving froward after 2021. 

This extends to increased awareness of the environment and climate issues. With 7 billion people staying at home, not driving their cars or flying abroad, we have seen a radical, physical improvement and reduction in carbon emissions, resulting in cleaner, greener spaces around the world. Many artists have been moved to engage further with the climate crisis with their work. For example Olafur Eliasson, Shephard Fairey (OBEY) and Agnes Denes. 


Nichols Canyon by David Hockney, Sold at Philips in 2020

4. Increased Popularity of Contemporary African Art

African contemporary art has been on the rise for some years before 2021 but recently has began to rise steadily within the international art market, with more collectors flocking to the movement from around the world. The flexibility of online exhibitions and sales that buyers had already become comfortable with, combined with affordable prices and high quality pieces has strongly contributed to the rise and success of Contemporary African Artists and their work.  

Barthélémy Toguo, Celebration of Love, 2014

5. Graffiti and Street Art

The popularity of street art exists consistently all over the world, however the pandemic has contributed to an increased street art activity directly inspired by our collective experience. It has been used to voice our communities messages of congratulations and encouragements to front line workers, shares troubles, sacrifices, losses and triumphs in working through and overcoming this global crisis. 

Banksy made his artistic contribution with his work titled Game Changer in which a child is seen playing with a toy nurse in a superhero costume with superman and batman in a rubbish bin in the background. 

LA based artist Corie Mattie created a series of mural works titled Hope Dealer, that writes: ‘Cancel Plans. Not Humanity’.

In addition to the pandemic, public murals also made numerous social statements about political unrest including a Hong Kong tagline that stated 

"There can be no return to normal because normal was the problem in the first place.’ These kinds of public works resonate with many and serve as a useful tool to agitate and heighten collective discussion about the immediate fabric of the societies and communities in which we live. 

Street Art by Corie Mattie in LA

In today's climate, post pandemic with ever shifting political tensions and the climate crisis, artists share a collective responsibility to respond to and agitate social activity in the hope of creating positive societal impact wherever possible. While it is uncertain in all the ways the art world will continue to shape after we have have bounced back further from the 2020 pandemic, it is clear that the virtual art world will continue to grow, possibly even edging its way in to share centre stage with more traditional creative practices and movements. Soon to be moving out of 2021...we will have to wait and watch to see what's next! 

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