What is conceptual art according to ARWE?
Usually, conceptual art is a set or an installation. The art itself does not have to be presented as such, however. During the (recent) course of history, there have been many incidents where conceptual art has been presented through documentation. Such as a written explanation of the piece in question, or a series of photographs.
Both the written explanation and the photographs can be regarded as the conceptual art itself. For this art movement focuses on emphasizing the idea, instead of the artefact.
And that can be taken very literally.
Conceptual art definition
One defining aspect of conceptual art is the idea, which does not necessary have to be executed for it to be considered art. Because of this, the birth of conceptual art seemed to contradict what constitutes art. Simultaneously, it expanded the boundaries of art.
In this day and age, a better question would be: “Can you define conceptual art?”. If you would ask that question to ten conceptual artists, I’d bet they’d all give you a different answer. If there’s one thing conceptual artists excel at, it’s the redefinition of the concept of art. Hence the name.
The artform is sometimes called conceptualism. The -ism is, in this case, just. Conceptualism can be seen as a complete ideology by itself, for it rocked the artworld to its core, as stated earlier.
Birth of the movement
Conceptual art was preceded by Marcel Duchamp, an artist from the Dada movement. Duchamp created the concept ‘’Readymade’’; a certain item, chosen by the artist, would instantaneously pass as art. Without any form of adaptation made to it, save the artist’s signature.
With his Readymades, Duchamp challenged the popular idea that a work of art, such as a painting or installation, needs to display artistic skill. Reducing the material necessary to create the work of art to the absolute minimum gave birth to the dematerialization of art. Even today what passes as art to some, will not be considered. Warhol’s Brill Boxes is a perfect example of an ordinary item that will not pass as art to the uninitiated.
ARWE’s take on conceptualism
My passion for the arts started in my twenties. I became an avid art collector and a successful business owner. At the height of my career however, I suffered a burn-out, which made consider what was truly important in this life.
As a conceptual artists and someone who has put up a façade to hide the underlying layers, it is an enriching experience to be able to capture the unfolding ambiguity of people. Working closely with my models and luring them out of their comfort zones
The addition of dramatizing elements causes a telling conflict between the models’ assumed identities and their true self. That moment of self-realization is the subject I work tirelessly on to capture on film.