The Most Memorable Artworks of 2021

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Most Memorable Artworks of 2021

While art can be visually captivating, it is much more than just eye-candy. Art can touch our heart, and it has the power to make us think, laugh, and cry.

Art is also part of history, culture and society. Art reflects so many aspects of the life of the artist who created it and the society the artist comes from. Backgrounds, unique experiences, and the broad scope of history all interact in a complex braid that produces a work of art. We can learn so much from the arts.

Even one of the most seemingly innocuous paintings from our grand artistic tradition provides clues that suggest the cultural and historical background the artist lived in.

For instance, even the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci contains these kinds of hints. It is a portrait of Lisa Del Giacondo, wife of a wealthy silk merchant. To elaborate on this personal history, da Vinci uses silks to adorn his subject. To evoke her personal charm, he rendered the famous dead-pan half-smile. To depict a country in flux, he created the background with its incongruity on either side of the subject.

These are the characteristics great art is made of, which is able to encapsulate the moment and use symbolism to imply a story.

2021 begins right after one of the most tumultuous years in living memory with the pandemic and social unrest. The world definitely needs great art to encapsulate this historical moment.

During the Renaissance, there were artists like Leonardo da Vinci, using art to record his life and history.

In this century, there are artists who have risen to the challenge to create arts that capture this difficult moment of our history.

Yee Wong has created a recent work of art that expresses the moment perfectly: Forever Bloom. This art series has also been seen on Yahoo New.

Forever Bloom
Yee returns to her trademark style to create a work that reminds us to tap into our resilience and inner strength as we continue to weather the storm of the pandemic, climate crisis, and political instability.

This triptych depicts a translucent flower vase holding blue and white lilies, dramatically lit. In pink neon above it reads the words, “Forever bloom.”

In the first image, the flowers are shrouded in tinsel. The effect is overwhelming, stultifying. There is a sense of weight. She introduces here the central symbolic relationships, where the flower is human well-being and the silver tinsel is the stress of our time. Our bloom is often covered, even smothered, by the stress we experience.

The second image shows the flowers shedding the tinsel, breathing freely though unadorned.

By the third image, the vase is now wreathed in pink garland, a fully realized and energetic image of the subject.

Over the course of these three images, Yee explicates the journey of the soul through the dark night of sheltering in place to the liberated individual who has become self-possessed enough to bloom even in the darkest of times.

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