Artist Movements in the '80s

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Artists and the art they create have gone through many changes over the years. Every decade new art forms are introduced, usually coinciding with current trends. As a result, many different art forms exist today. Photography, sculpture, painting, and sketching are just a few. Many of these transformed during different art movements introduced in the 1980s, which was considered a vibrant period for art movements, according to the Castellani Art Museum founders, Armand and Eleanor Castellani.


Also known as New Realism, Appropriation is an art form that reinterprets previously published art. Re-interpreting the art gives it new meaning and displays the art with a different context. Appropriation art forms could be a photograph, painting or piece of fine art. Appropriation artists usually choose to reinvent art to make a political statement or strengthen the impact a particular art form may have had on a group of people. Gretchen Bender practised Appropriation in the '80s. She silk-screened images of other artist's work, and arranged them into geometric patterns.


Neo-expressionism is an art form that expresses life in it's truest form. Painters, sculptors, and sketch artists would create pieces that had real-life history to them, but at the same time added a little myth to it. This art style invoked people's imaginations while still getting a serious, maybe even political idea across. Some pieces were immediately confiscated due to indecency. Georg Baselitz has many fracture paintings of rural motifs and many paintings of upside-down subjects that fall into the neo-expressionism art movement.


Graffiti is normally known as the destruction of property by spray painting words or symbols on private property. In the 1980s, graffiti became popular in the art world. These inventive, decorative words and symbols were painted on canvas and drawn on paper as art. Graffiti quickly became popular because those that were once considered criminals for spraying graffiti on walls and trains were now famous artists getting paid to express themselves with that same graffiti. Harold Naegeli, nicknamed the "Sprayer of Zurich," was arrested for painting hundreds of wire-frame figures on concrete walls. He is now considered an important artist.


When creating Neo-pop art, artists used popular symbols, icons, images of celebrities or even animals as their inspiration. Their art consisted of anything from bushes trimmed into the shape of a popular dog, to a statue of celebrity. Neo-pop tended to poke fun at celebrities or popular cultural headlines. Jeff Koons is an established Neo-pop artist, and is well known for a statue he made of Michael Jackson and his chimpanzee, Bubbles.

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