There are numerous materials used in the production of art in the 21st century(-ish). Here are some examples:

  1. Digital Media: With the advent of technology, digital media has become a popular medium in contemporary art. Artists use software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and 3D modeling programs to create their works. Some examples include:
  • Cory Arcangel’s Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations (2011)
  • Rachel Maclean’s video installations (2016)
  1. Found Objects: Artists often use found objects, or everyday items, in their artworks. These objects are repurposed or combined to create new works of art. Some examples include:
  • Damien Hirst’s shark preserved in formaldehyde (1991)
  • Ai Weiwei’s installation of 9,000 bicycles in Toronto (2013)
  1. Mixed Media: Mixed media refers to artworks that use a combination of materials and techniques. This can include painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, and sculpture. Some examples include:
  • Kara Walker’s cut paper silhouettes (2005)
  • Robert Rauschenberg’s Combines (1954-1964)
  1. Performance Art: Performance art involves live actions by artists, which can be theatrical, improvisational, or conceptual. It often involves the use of the body as the primary medium. Some examples include:
  • Marina Abramović’s The Artist is Present (2010)
  • Tino Sehgal’s These Associations (2012)
  1. Installation Art: Installation art is a genre of contemporary art that involves creating immersive, site-specific works that often utilize a variety of materials and techniques. Some examples include:
  • Olafur Eliasson’s The Weather Project (2003)
  • Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room (2013)

These are just a few examples of the many materials and techniques used in contemporary art.


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