Recently, I had a chance to attend this year’s exhibition of the Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art; and a peculiar thing is that this event has rearranged my attitude towards 21st century progressive artists dramatically. The focus here lies in arguing that I never used to consider contemporary art as an opportunity to expand the insight on self-awareness. However, 2016 Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art enabled me to come to understanding a profoundly complex framework of human identity in general and half-open the unknown side of people’s psyche, respectively. I am currently aware that “aesthetical quality of artworks can increase the individual’s self-esteem and consciousness” (Kamali & Moosa 132). To be precise, it is worth saying that the works of such artists as Ernesto Oroza, Matt Roberts, and Dawn Roe endowed me with an opportunity to vividly see all the challenging nature of presently existing issues within the U.S. society. Despite the fact that the hanging committee has to select only one outstanding artist to be awarded, it becomes apparent that each of those progressive artists participating in 2016 Orlando Museum Florida Prize in Contemporary Art are worthy of notice.
I must admit that my excursus into the world of contemporary art emerges to be predominantly initiated by my friends who can be strongly associated with the current digital culture. In particular, they are involved in designing new media streaming devices and Internet technologies; supposedly, their increased focus on this year’s exhibition of progressive artists is likely to be driven by the ongoing tendency to synthesize artistic practices with digital reality. Although I could hardly explain my feelings while gazing upon the artworks, it becomes clear that an internal shift of focus from envisioning exceptionally a wall between my perception and contemporary art itself to suspecting that hidden context does exist took place. As I mentioned before, there are three artists whose works reached out to me and currently have a place in my everyday’s reality.
I would like to draw a particular attention to an interdisciplinary artist Ernesto Oroza, since his work titled Architecture of Necessity reflects Cuban reality, which is far from being digitally motivated though. Tabloid wallpaper that an artist utilized as a background for research images incorporates the signs of daily uncertainty that the prevailing majority of people are likely to collide with. Such images like tea set and juice tin can products emerge to allude to a marginal life deprived of any kind of contemplation upon nonmaterial set of values. Surely, this piece of art makes it certain that modern Cuban culture consists in mocking at materialism being an integral part of presently existing community; yet, the hidden context lies in that the artist’s nonverbal ironic speaking is not powerful enough to break the chains of material slavery within the society.
Another artwork I would like to make mention of is Matt Roberts’ Waves; it is important to indicate that this very channel video installation occurs as an embodiment of today’s digital culture; to put it another way, Roberts’ idea to construct the closet ocean, making an emphasis on transmitting both sound and media by digitally processed signal, is closely related to present-day Internet technologies. In any way, apart from being tightly linked with 21st century digital culture, the artwork aims to cultivate a new cultural belief, which would be based on deriving one’s creativity from sticking to the laws of ecology. Obviously, such a combination of synthetic technologies with Earth’s extremely valuable natural resource enables the audience to witness an unprecedentedly unique form of self-expression. Significantly, the aforementioned artwork alludes to a dire need to pay special attention to contemporary media art as a means of up-to-date communication based on nonstandard artistic effects.
The last but not the least, it is important to take a notice of Dawn Roe’s pigment print titled Mountain Field Study (Cloth and Mountain); the thing is that this very artwork emerges to be a synthesis of experienced and digitally recorded events, constituting a fundamental life concept. Apparently, Dawn Roe’s photograph should not be underestimated from the perspective of the way it shapes modern culture. To make it clear, the artist aims to methodically engrain a new psychological stance, which basically consists in drawing a distinction between everyday’s reality that one can grab and experiences that one can predominantly feel. It is inevitable that Roe’s approach to chronicling particular landscapes encompasses the sign of elaborating on a new reason why man-made things are still gravitating towards natural beauty. Indisputably, this artwork makes it clear that modern U.S. culture has much in common with primeval things even though millennial population is mostly inspired by digital driving forces.
In sum, it becomes apparent that the Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art appears to be an extremely important event that one should definitely attend in order to see a real value of modern art. Yes, the works of ten contemporary progressive artists that I had a pleasure to observe helped me understand all the paradoxical nature of art; and I managed to get rid of many stereotypes of today’s modern art and reconsider the importance of new approaches to making art, respectively.
- Nader, Kamali., and Javdan Moosa. The Relationship between Art and Psychology. J. Life Sci. Biomed, 2.4 (2012): 129-133. Print.