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From Textile to Street Art: Four Cutting-Edge trends in 2022

Sara Mansour August 03 2022

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The global pandemic’s socioeconomic ambiguity has galvanised artistic movements to espouse digital tools, innovating poignant bohemian aesthetics with exponential profitability as a viable channel for global collectiveness and aesthetic appreciation. Here are four cutting-edge art trends in 2022.

1. Virtual art exhibitions

From eminent fashion shows to film festivals, the convergence of technological infrastructures and traditional art forms has attained equitable, yet cost-effective accessibility of resources within cultural sectors. Esteemed art organisations have lucratively engineered a virtual interactive art platform for connoisseurs to immerse within the contemporary ethos of experimentalism. Vast non-spatial networks have formidably emulated geographic characteristics by cultivating prolific discourses on innumerable mediums, enrapturing enthusiasts with eye-arresting digital performances.

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Wake of Progress by Edward Burtynsky

To illustrate, the internationally acclaimed Luminato Festival is a charitable foundation devoted to delivering superlative avant-garde visual arts and media presentations. Its organisational cornerstone earmarks creative productions that exceed conventional boundaries, yet conveys an optimistic portrayal of Canadian identity. In fact, Luminato’s notable 2022 project subsidises esteemed Canadian photographer, Edward Burtynsky's Wake of Progress, impeccably melds cinematic and photographic compositions to originate a sleight-of-hand cri de coeur piece, depicting the dire perils of climate change across the consumer-driven digital billboards of Yonge Dundas Square, an educational immersive experience to enlighten pedestrian viewers.

2. African Art

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Needlepoint tapestry by Maya Gobelin

Prodigious African artists employ experimental forms of portraiture, local textile, conflated techniques between figuration and abstract movements, to gracefully capture the continent’s enriched socio-historical landscape. Ubiquitous digital tools have rendered black artists to retain global approbation for their pre-eminent oeuvres, displaying poignant visual commentaries in effort to decolonize the region's cultural narrative eroded by Western paradigms. Notably, acclaimed Congolese painter, Cheri Samba's "J'aime La Couleur'', is a vibrantly comical piece that has enraptured viewers with spiralled strips of his head against a blue horizon as a paintbrush held between his teeth drips kaleidoscopic hues, indeed an expressionist self-portrait that imparts his reverence for lively colours.

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J’aime La Couleur by Cheri Samba

Additionally, esteemed interdisciplinary Nigerian artist and poet, Peju Alatis’ sculpture “High Horses'', portrays three abandoned women seated on top of orange-dusted obsidian pedestals. Their enigmatic appearance cloaked underneath veils of vivid textile embroideries, yet shattered to reveal a dark void of oblivion is a profound creation impregnated with fortitude, valiance, and tenacity as empowered qualities which permeate womanhood. Alatis projects an emotionally-stirring cri de coeur to chronicle generational protests against patriarchal hegemony, punitive societal discourses, and historical institutional tyranny as determinants for compounded gender disparities. Additionally, up-and-coming contemporary African artists employ unique assorted creative mediums to cultivate and perpetuate progressive intellectual philosophies through an aesthetic lens to eloquently depict Africa’s vibrant milieu.

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High Horses by Peju Alatis

3. The Memphis Revival

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The Memphis-filled apartment of Raquel Cayre

Interior design brands are resurrecting excessive use of exuberant hues, geometric forms, bold patterns, abstraction, and a contrast interplay of colours, exemplifying the 1980s Memphis movement, an ornamentation attributed to venerable Italian architect Ettore Sottsass in 1981. His timeless novelty was a dissident motif against the 1970s neutral minimalist trend symbolic of orderliness and methodology, perpetual societal traditions, an avant-garde cultural offset to the mid century’s vapid modern approach. Sottsass espoused a seamless cohesion of Art Deco’s experimental geometrics and Pop Art’s Colour scheme to his bohemian aesthetic, but after it was entombed by incessant mainstream rejections, the post-modern pre-eminent style was resurrected as a widely distinguished medium among enthralled multidisciplinary designers and influential fashion names, from Christian Dior to Missoni. Yet the Memphis Revival marked an eclectic trend within contemporary interior design and cinematic adaptations, but it's meld into popular culture was best epitomised by Brighton University's graduate student and London-based French designer Camille Walala, who seamlessly amalgamated Memphis characteristics into her stylized cushions, displayed in saturated primary colours, soft teals and pinks, with harsh monochrome contrasts.

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textile design by Camille Walala

4. Street Art

The contemporary graffiti subculture has produced eye-arresting visuals of global socio-economic plights as shrewd remarks to evoke collective awareness, perceptible to the public eye within common local districts. Renowned street artists such as Banksy, Eduardo Kobra and Alec Monopoly are timeless epitomes who stood intrepid to state corruption, shedding light on hegemonic oppression, the cultural strain imposed by inequitable institutional policies, by capturing emotionally-stirring propagandist imageries to restore society's moral equilibrium. In fact, pseudonymous graffiti artist Banksy's creative activist oeuvres, valued in auction for millions of dollars, is centred on his signature political cynicism which condemns the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other ignorable war crimes perpetrated by American imperialism. He innovated a formidable painting titled "Game Changer" showcases a young boy playing with his nurse toy over marvel heroes Batman and Spiderman left secluded in a basket, became a symbolic tribute to courageous healthcare workers, thus, sparked reverence among his enthusiasts.

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Game Changer by Banksy
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