The first art pieces discovered go back to 4,000 years! In other words, art was born with humanity, and each era had witnessed different movements. Today art is so broad and diversified that almost anything could be called a piece of art, even technology, and all the new movements are classified as avant-garde.
Since the early 20th century, the definition of art has been more and more controversial, and another issue was whether art should be defined or not. But today I am not going to debate that, I want to talk about a not very new, however more and more popular side of art; it is the art done with a sense of humor or even irony. Today many artists present works that at first sight make us laugh! Even many pieces are created for the purpose of mockery, irony or just fun. The first works with strong sense of humor and irony appeared mostly with the surrealism movement, where artists started mixing photography with collages and painting, with the purpose of “changing reality”. Many artists from that movement wanted to transform banal daily objects and pictures to art. Who could imagine a “pissoir” – a.k.a a urinary to end up in a museum just because it was displayed in a different way! Well hell yeah Mr. Duchamp, this is ironic! There goes one of my favorites.
Cadeau (Gift) by Man Ray - 1921
And then of course the surrealism was continued with the pop-art culture that flourished around the mid 50’s, with artists using mostly popular subjects in their works. The perfect example is the “Thirty are better than one” serigraph of the Mona Lisa by Andy Warhol or the 25 colored Marylins, and who doesn’t know the famous Campbell soup can.
But artists’ sense of humor didn’t stop there, up until today, they are using more and more their sense of humor and irony in their works, be it painting, photography, collage, or a mix of the 3. It seems that artists want to amuse the spectator and at the same time have fun themselves.
Today, a revived technique, that even existed during the Roman days, is the “trompe l’ oeil” (eye deceivers), and nowadays with the help of the 3D technologies, this technique is not only used in façade covers or painting. Many companies are creating advertising and marketing campaigns using those techniques, they are even used for city marketing to amuse the people walking by.
Check out this video! It is AMAZING!
And below, the Piano stairs that were done in metro stations of various big cities by Volkswagen to encourage people to use the stairs. The theory behind it is the “Fun Theory”.
So be trendy, keep your sense of humor, and enjoy!