C Magazine

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not so abstract

In this century, rather than being characterized by the end result, art gains meaning through the process. Modern art is artwork made in the 20th and 21st centuries and is recognized for its abstract and experimental characteristics, defying rules that have held true for centuries. However, not all modern pieces of art are as obscure as we believe the genre to be. Those who don’t understand art might gauge its value on the aesthetics, and this superficial interpretation of modern art prevents the audience from seeing the artists’ messages; a small placard next to the piece is often not enough. An attempt to understand the true meaning behind a few contemporary pieces of art revealed that a major piece of modern art is actually the way that the artist uses different social, cultural and political contexts in their work.

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Daniel Phillips: Albert As art has evolved, one style has remained throughout the years: the realist drawing. Joel Daniel Phillips has perfected this art using only a graphite pencil to create portraits that seemingly could pass for photographs. This portrait is of a homeless man in San Francisco who Phillips met and ended up forming a very strong relationship with. The homeless man, Albert, grew into more than just a regular subject: he became a friend. His small, meticulous pencil strokes resemble pieces from hundreds of years ago, but the subjects being homeless men from 2017 give his work a modern relatability. Albert provides a look into a life many will never experience, showing that no matter how time passes, the realist works of artists expose us to the world right in front of our eyes. Photo by Grace Rowell