What are contemporary arts? Well, to understand it, let us take a brief moment to understand each of the words that make up the sentence; contemporary and arts.
Contemporary can be said to be any event that takes place during the lifetime of a person, it can also be anything that comes into existence during the lifetime of a person. A contemporary event can be an event that must have taken place during a person’s lifetime, and also, someone being born during the lifetime of an older person. So we could rightfully conclude that any person, thing, event that takes place or comes into existence is a person’s contemporary.
After combining contemporary and arts, we get an even more specific definition and that is: arts that are present and still relevant during a person’s lifetime and also, arts that are created during a person’s lifetime. So have you taken time to consider just how many paintings have been done ever since you were born? The list is without an end, and then you should know all those paintings are your contemporaries. One fact we shouldn’t forget in an hurry is that a painting is not judged to be contemporary based on how old it may have gotten, neither is it judged to be either modern or old by its age, as a painting that may be contemporary to the father can be old to the son, and even paintings that may be contemporary to an older sibling may be old to a younger sibling, we have also derived another meaning from contemporary in the art sense.
Another meaning that contemporary arts carries is that: it can be any artworks that are produced by an artist who is still alive and paintings that are still relevant to the day even if the artist must have died. In this sense, we are not pointing much to people who have been born before or who may witness the production of an artwork, we bring the two definitions into one that is more clarifying, so the first definition of contemporary art is still valid and never discredited.
Certainly, we are less likely to compare artworks of the 19th century to the artworks of the 20th century, neither can we even compare artworks of the 20th century to those of the 21th century, paintings that have been done back then may have gone out of date or even out of fashion, but not all those artists back then have become irrelevant today. They may have long died, some may have even stopped working on arts, but their artworks are still the most wanted artworks in the art world today. Their artworks are not only still seen as very relevant, they are still increasing in worth. I could remember when a painting of Leonardo Da Vinci was damaged, art lovers didn’t mind spending millions of dollars to get it repaired, yes, Leonardo Da Vinci may not command much respect in the populace today, but his paintings still speaks a thousand times more than he himself would have. If an artist is alive and he is still making works of art, and still continuing to modernize his artworks then we can still call it a contemporary set of artworks. So each of the definitions we have considered is to help us to avoid discrediting the works of others based on the time that it must have been done, either long before we were born or after we were born.
So, while we still maintain the conclusion that artworks that are still relevant in our days and those that are still new can be called contemporary, we should also realize that the artists who produced these artworks, old or young, alive or dead are all contemporary artists.