Visual Art in the Digital Age
By: Katie Hovde
Cover Photo By: Alessandro Erbetta
Growing up, visual art wasn’t top of mind for me. Instead it was music. I spent hours upon hours on YouTube and iTunes, digging through my parents’ old CDs and tapes; constantly on the hunt for the sounds of my soul. Music was what helped me get to know myself and make sense of the life I was living. To call my endless quest for new and different ways to experience my emotions an obsession would be a massive understatement.
Today my thirst for new and undiscovered music is just as insatiable, but now things like Spotify exist, making it exceedingly easy to quench this thirst at the touch of a button.
This new digital age has introduced the ability to experience any kind of art we want, right when we want it. For someone who has spent all their time chasing music, I’ve been able to experience art-forms that I had never considered seeking out, like visual art. One incredibly useful tool for discovering new art is Instagram. Below are some of my personal favorite visual artists I found on Instagram that I would like to share with you as a result of my newly begun search for visual art that makes me feel what music does.
Amanda Oleander is a Los Angeles-based artist. Her art is easily understood, while simultaneously addressing very complex emotional issues. In the drawing you see here entitled “I’ll Be There For You,” you can see the woman’s plant wilting, while her partner’s plant is nice and healthy. Her partner is watering her plant and helping her come back to herself. While this concept may appear to be simple, I’m sure we all as humans know how complicated a dynamic like this can be between two people. All of her art has these subtle underlying tones of complication that keep you looking at it and looking at it and looking at it until you finally feel something click inside you and perhaps you find that you suddenly understand certain emotions in ways you hadn’t ever understood before.
Agnes Cecile is an Italian artist of only 27-years-old. Her art is extremely whimsical and delicate, but intentional and emotionally striking. The painting shown here entitled “This Thing Called Art is Really Dangerous” is one of my favorite pieces she has done because I feel that it perfectly encapsulates what it can feel like to live a creative and artistic life. All of these beautiful colors and shapes come out, but lying in the base of the throat is darkness; beautiful still, but dark and less fluid. Every piece she puts out I love more than the next. She is able to maintain her unique artistic identity while easily moving between techniques for expressing said artistic identity. I feel understood when I take in her works. Feeling understood by a piece of visual art is not something I had ever experienced until I found Agnes Cecile.
Melodie Perrault is a Canadian artist who is so sassy and aware that it hurts. Her art is from a feminist, pro-sexuality standpoint – to call her art empowering would only scratch the surface. She is witty, raunchy (in a good way), unashamed, and overall extremely relatable. The caption on this piece says “Here’s what I think.” And to be honest, I’m not sure what else to say about her because I feel like this piece sums her up well. Check her out.