Contrary to what many may believe, contemporary art has its own reading grid. It has a grounded approach with its codes and currents of thought. The term “contemporary art” emerged from the 1980s when public authorities began to promote and support contemporary creation. The art once only concerned a small circle, but with the emergence of mass media, the works were spread to be part of our daily landscape. It constitutes everything from singular pieces, be it digital or three-dimensional, to interior design, an Instagram layout or Tumblr theme. Contemporary art is constantly evolving as our modernized era reshapes exponentially. I talked with artist Farris Ashraf (who you can check out on Twitter here) about what all of his pieces mean to him and how his style has evolved with each project.
Artist Farris Ashraf, raised in West London, defines the integral job of a 21st Century creator – that is to transfer a concept effectively. The balance between meaning and aesthetic is often diluted with certain trends, where riding the wave of a theme becomes more important than representation. Ashraf recharges that ratio that is often lost.
‘Nude Palette’ series
This young artist admits that with every new piece comes a new favorite. The relationship between the artist and their art is often left out because art is seen to be an exclusively experience-oriented dynamic between art and viewer. Farris Ashraf does not have a stagnant professional goal ( a fluctuation that is common with young artists). He takes each day as an opportunity to try new mediums that fit his brand. Growth is the epicenter of his aims. However, what he sees in the near future is collaborating with fashion companies and small businesses to interject his ideas with large-scale motives. His interests for projects involve drawing designs and directing a short film or promotional shoot.
‘Project Profiles’ collection
Farris Ashraf is working on something different from what he usually does in terms of manipulation, but preserves what could be seen as Ashraf-esque. He was is in Seoul, South Korea with other creatives in efforts to merge styles. His art takes on a role of their own, he says, as they adapt with society over time. Given this release of control, Farris speaks on the restriction of creativity in school because teenagers are subliminally pressured to limit themselves to expectations for the sake of good grades/marks. Rejecting this dilemma, he takes pride in the personal progression he’s established on his own terms.
“If your subject is executed well, attention is drawn towards the concept,” Ashraf accentuates, but he remains cognitive that stepping out of a comfort zone comes with inevitable fault, and this is not to be seen as negative. As the cliche goes, we all start from somewhere. Social media can hypnotize the youth into forgetting the process of development, whether it’s filtering a selfie or posting an intricate art piece made by an artist who spent more than a week perfecting. With an internet platform, it seems that every person is entitled to be a certified critic, from Instagram comments to Twitter mentions. That being said, a question often asked to artists is if rejection affects their creative process. Ashraf humbly responds that it hasn’t, but it has made him reconsider the line of work he wanted to submerge himself in.
Anime in London
Despite anime being a style that might scare traditionalists, Farris Ashraf dives right in, because the root of his work is less about meaning and more about exploration. It’s not about creating the best piece; it’s about growing as an artist.
This paradoxical complex of liberation and detail introduces a new art movement in the works, the New Renaissance.