The Blog

Millennials and moving art forward

Back in December, after I finished up at the Dalí exhibit at the High museum I left my bags at my aunt’s house in Duluth and before making an excursion for Chinese take-out (and taking a left instead of a right and ending up 7 miles from where I wanted to be), I checked in on Facebook and Twitter and got into a brief discussion with my college friend Mitch Breitweiser.

Bucky sketch by Mitchell Breitweiser

Mitch draws comics for a living. He mentioned that the comic artists our generation (which is Y, apparently, sometimes called Millennials) have started employing a more minimalist, spartan approach that hasn’t been seen in decades. If you remember the comics of the 1990s, you’ll recall they were pretty much the height of grotesque anatomy, overly-detailed imagery, and complicated costumes. Artists like Mitch tend toward something of a reductive aesthetic inspired by the Golden Age of comics.

Keep in mind I had just seen the late works of Dalí exhibit at the High. Dalí incorporated Renaissance techniques and theme into his paranoiac-critical Atomic Age approach. Remixing, yes, but also a return to purer styles (although that’s what the Moderns were doing, too, in a different way, especially with Picasso incorporating “primitive” African masks into his paintings.)

It makes me wonder about what I’m doing as a fine artist. What’s my connection to the art of the past and the art of now? I’m not sure how it all relates, but I do know I have a responsibility to move things forward, or to make a connection with the past.

As much as I like artists like Edward Hopper I don’t want to ape them. But I have a feeling that I’m going to be experimenting with pushing my art to both realistic and abstract approaches and somehow incorporate typography as well as “Sacred” Geometry.

Here’s the thing: the generation you belong to doesn’t really matter. What are you doing to move art forward? Or even backward?

Because standing still will only kill you.

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