Have you heard of TOAE? It's the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, which takes place annually on Nathan Phillips Square featuring contemporary Canadian fine art and craft. The purpose of the event is to not only to sell but to showcase the works by contemporary Canadian artists across the country. This year marked its 51st year.
|View of TOAE 2012|
I begin to wonder what it was like 51 years ago, when TOAE first held place. Not only the setting or how the artist presented the artwork is different, but imagine how much the art itself has changed. I think art is produced in a way - whether its the technique or the medium or the subject, art has to somewhat reflect its contemporary environment. Perhaps I should say that art is influenced by the contemporary world. Although artists are creative, and some are more close-minded than others, meaning that they are expressing what they want, an artist cannot neglect his or her contemporary scene. In one way or another, the artist is influenced by his or her contemporary world. This could be the thought process, the medium, the subject or the audience.
|"Kisses" iPad painting by Marilyn Lightstone (right)|
I want to focus on the medium of art in this entry. How does medium reflect the world we are living? After spending hours at TOAE, I have realized that there were lots of digital media, mixed media and photography. I began to think that an artist is influenced by his/her contemporary medium. To give you an example, consider Marilyn Lightstone's iPad paintings at TOAE. This shows that paintings don't always follow the equation of paint on canvas. Photography and mixed media are a couple of examples of modern mediums that became popular as those mediums became common not only to the artists but to the audiences. Photography has been around for some time, however iPad is more recent medium. The first iPad became accessible in early 2010 which was only two years ago. Marilyn Lightstone was the only artist at TOAE to use iPad as her method of producing her work. However, this method will be more frequently used.
|Still Life by Diliana Popova at TOAE|
Yet it doesn't mean that the old artistic medium is obsolete. Although digital media and other forms of modern means of art keep growing, you can't really exclude the traditional method. The traditional medium, such as acrylic or oil paint on canvas is still praised and commonly used by modern artists, such as Diliana Popova at TOAE. There are people who are against modern approach to creating art, but it doesn't mean one way is right and the other way is wrong. As time evolves, new technology will be introduced, and as our lifestyle reflects contemporary technology, so will art and its medium. Who knows? iPad could be the next popular medium of art and museums may open an exhibition dedicated for iPad paintings...