Top painting trends of 2021

It’s a little bit frightening to think we are already past the halfway mark of 2021. There’s no question about it – time speeds up as we get older. Every time I think about something like this, I end up choosing a new project to embark on – a new painting through which to express my feelings and emotions in our current time.

The Continuing Popularity of Street Art

Street art has surged in popularity over the last two decades, a trend that has undoubtedly developed thanks to artists such as Banksy. The notoriety created through Banksy’s unknown identity has fueled an ever-growing interest in street art, shining a light on artists who have been creating similar street artworks for years.

Richard Hambleton is known in some circles as “The Godfather of Street Art”, an impressive title indeed. Hambleton began his career on the streets of New York City in the 1980s and has been creating impressive street art ever since. Hambleton went on to inspire other artists such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Huge format, wall-size prints of these artists’ work are hugely popular in 2021.

Surreal Visions of Everyday Life

Mixed media art continues to grow in popularity in 2021, an endemic trend throughout Angelo Accardi’s art. Using realistic backdrops of urban landscapes mixed with pictorial images taken from pop culture, Accardi is setting trends for others to follow.

Contemporary African Art is Breaking Through

This is a trend that has been pushing its way into the mainstream for several years but is only just now gaining the recognition and attention that its artists deserve. This style is now gaining attention from art collectors on every continent and makes a great source of inspiration if you are struggling with ideas while creating your latest piece.

The Rekindled Awareness of Nature

Our world provides an infinite source of ideas and inspiration for artwork and interesting portrayals of our natural world are thriving on the art market right now. A landscape painted by David Hockney sold for over $35 million at Philips last year. Increased awareness of environmental issues has inspired artists to create pieces that represent the problems we face. Some artists have taken this a step further by insisting on using only recycled materials in their pieces.

Traditional & Abstract Landscapes

Landscapes have always been popular, and artists have long sought to exploit this popularity by painting local views in the areas where they wish to sell their work. Seascapes are a sub-genre that includes beach scenes, and harbor paintings. Modern takes on the landscape genre include abstract landscapes, which offer a unique version of an otherwise familiar view. All of these landscape styles are selling well in 2021.

Abstract Paintings

The majority of abstract artwork has no easily identifiable subject, leaving the viewer to construe the piece in any way that they wish. This open-ended approach ensures that abstract paintings continue to be big sellers in 2021.

Nude Paintings & Studies of the Human Form

Most artists will have experience painting figures and nudes when they first begin to paint, as this is an extremely common element of introductory art education programs. Painting figures outside the classroom setting brings many exceptional challenges, however, as not everyone is suitable for use as a subject in this type of art.

Posing as a live model can be a daunting task for the inexperienced, as staying still for an extended period whilst the artist works can be a tiring job. There is a powerful connection between the viewer and the subject of a figure or nude painting, regardless of if it was created using a live model or a photograph. This connection inevitably resonates with collectors of these pieces as they remain enormously popular in 2021.

The Best Selling Media for Paintings

The original piece will always fetch the highest prices among buyers, but a print can often fetch more value overall by allowing those with lower budgets to purchase a piece that they desire.

Large format, wall-size prints are one of the most popular styles right now, along with split-canvas pieces where the original painting is split into distinct sections which are intended to fill a large space.

Limited-edition prints represent a middle ground when a specific number of individually produced and numbered prints are created. This assures the buyer that their purchase is not a mass-produced piece, but one with unique qualities that separate it from other artworks on offer. This trend looks set to continue long into the future.

Learn more about the different top painting trends by visiting the virtual gallery of one of America’s renowned contemporary artists, Robert Lyn Nelson.