The past year has brought unprecedented change not just for the art industry, but for the consumer at large. After the chaos of 2020 triggered by Covid19, there was great hope for the year ahead. The truth is that in-person events are back, but always incorporating the distances required due to the pandemic. In 2021, the realm of crypto-based NFTs dominated everyone's attention and signaled hope for the future of the Craft.Online sales from major auction houses such as Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips have achieved exponential growth compared to previous years. There has been an increase in sales and confidence in operations - as reliance on technology has grown, driven by need - and an ever-growing demographic of buyers under the age of 40, as well as an increase in new art collectors. Find out in this article which were the biggest trends in 2021.
1. Bordalo II
The Portuguese artist Artur Bordalo (1987), known as Bordalo II, became famous for using street garbage to create stunning animal sculptures, with the purpose of alerting people about pollution and all kinds of species that are endangered. From street art he developed his practice, evolving into what is now considered "trash art". The passion for painting dates back to childhood, when Learn more about the Portuguese artist in the article Bordalo II, the ecological artist .
2. Manuel Cargaleiro
the portuguese artistManuel Cargaleiro created a striking language in the artistic world by combining ceramics and painting, through interplay between color, light and shadow.His works are strongly characterized by the use of geometry and abstract, non-figurative language. The spontaneous and dynamic brushstrokes with vibrant colors overlap the shape, reducing the formality that characterizes the geometric elements. A exploration of color is one of the main characteristics of his work, as it reveals feelings and creates different spaces in a single composition. The influence of the traditional Portuguese tile is denoted, by the repetition of the quadrilaterals and the use of colors such as blue and white. In addition to painting and ceramics,Manuel Cargaleiro he also explored drawing, sculpture, tapestry and engraving.
One of the main artists of the movement ofurban art (street art), Alexandre Farto (1987), better known as Vhils, continues to evolve and push his style by sculpting the faces of anonymous figures on a large scale, in order to reveal the hidden underlayers and fragility of urban space. He emerged on the art scene in 2008, creating a revolution through his innovative artistic practice, in which destruction is a form of construction. He became an international phenomenon, mainly for his murals in public spaces, honoring José Saramago, Zeca Afonso, among others. The space where he grew up, Seixal, an industrialized suburb across the river from Lisbon (Portugal), profoundly influenced his practice due to the transformations caused by intense urban development in the 1980s and 1990s.Bordalo II, banksy It isJean-Michel Basquiat, it was in the streets that the basis for his initial artistic production was formed, eventually projecting his perceptions of the outside world through his creative acts. He often carves faces in public spaces - on the side of buildings - with a variety of tools and materials that can leave a mark or remove materials, including hammers, drills, etching acid, bleach and explosives. In addition to mural sculpture, he has also been exploring other means such as serigraphy, installation and other media, such as advertising posters, wooden doors and metal plates that he collects from the streets.
4. Júlio Pomar
In constant movement and creation,Júlio Pomar (1926-2018) is one of the most renowned Portuguese artists of the 20th century. During his long creative career, his works addressed issues and themes such as: protest, eroticism, fado, bullfighting, literature, mythology, the Xingu Indians of Brazil, Don Quixote, portraits and animals. Belonging to the third generation of modernists, Júlio Pomar is an artist with works ranging from
5. Cruzeiro Seixas
the portuguese artist Cruzeiro Seixas was one of the great names of surrealism in Portugal, recurrently disseminating this artistic aesthetic. In his vast artistic production, he explored various techniques and supports, and went through several phases, from expressionism to neo-realism, until reaching surrealism. His drawings, paintings and sculptures integrated the metaphysical landscapes of Giorgio de Chirico and the metamorphic figurations of Salvador Dalí, thus transmitting a constant poetic and plastic freedom. Through the contrasts between blacks and whites, he developed a very personal imaginary universe. He dreamed and imagined, without aesthetic or moral impositions, in the world of plastic art, but also of poetry.
6. João Cutileiro
With a new vision of sculptural practice,João Cutileiro marked the history of Portuguese art by transforming the artistic and cultural landscape of this country. From the end of the 1950s, his marble works marked by experimentalism, eroticism, nature and national history, became visible in the Portuguese public space. «Dom Sebastião de Lagos» (1973) and the monument to the 25th of April, at the top of Parque Eduardo VII, in Lisbon, are two sculptures that marked the artistic and political career of João Cutileiro. In addition to the public space, his works were exhibited in several museum spaces and national and international biennials, such as the Unikat-Galerie, in Wuppertal, Germany, the Royal Academy of Arts, in London, the Museum of Lagos (1978), the XV International Biennial of São Paulo, Brazil (1979), among others. Learn more about the artist in the article The Girls of João Cutileiro
7. Paula Rego
Introducing expressive, profound and ambiguous elements into his works,Paula Rego (1935) gained recognition as one of the greatest artists of our time, nationally and internationally. From abstractionism to conceptualism, his pieces are part of a figurative field of their own: «the beautiful grotesque». In surreal compositions with a cruelty - both subtle and explicit - the Portuguese artist demonstrates her own imagery, the brutality of Portuguese folktales, dysfunctional family relationships, political systems and social structures. Women and girls are placed in the foreground, and animals often replace humans. Between life and art, Paula Rego demonstrates its concerns and convictions, for example, the production of the series entitled «Aborto» for agreeing with the decriminalization of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy.
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