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Subject Matter

and Style in
Presented by:

Subject matter is boundless to the
contemporary artist. Style can fall
under one of than 100 styles but
can be categorized under the few big
movements in art.
If the traditional artists’ art consisted of
portraits, landscapes, still life and human
interest mostly as naturally as possible,
the contemporary artists’ works are
expressions of freedom, experimentation
and exploration of patterns, figures,
objects and a combination of many things
that are important to them.
Subject matter in contemporary arts
is not confined to representation of
human figures and landscapes.
The favorite subjects in contemporary
art are children, women or the
environment, such as Tokwa
Penaflorida’s ‘DIWATA’. It can also be
a combination of any of these.
Tokwa Penaflorida’s DIWATA
In some artworks, the subject matter is not
easily recognized. If the artwork is an
experiment on technique, the subject matter
is the technique itself. In others such as
those in conceptual art, the viewer has to
engage in thinking and exploring the
meaning of the artwork.
Some artwork are intended to make a
statement about an issue so the viewer is
guided by a written explanation in Plet
Bolipata’s ‘CAT DOLLS’. The subject
matter combines human figure and cat
Plet Boliplata Cat Dolls
Sam Penaso’s Metalscape is an
abstraction using metal. This is an
example of a contemporary style.
There were art movements and styles that
dominated contemporary art through the decades
since 1950s. These are abstract expressionism,
kinetic art, Op art, performance art,
environmental art, feminist art,
postminimalism, video art, graffiti art,
postmodern art, body art and digital art.
Abstract Expressionism
isa painting style in which the artist applies
paint in a manner that expresses emotional and
feelings in spontaneous way
Kinetic Art
isa sculpture that moves with the wind or is
powered by a machine or electricity
Op Art
Uses line or images repeatedly to create
an optical illusion.
Performance Art
Combines a variety of media and the human body
to execute an artistic theatrical expression before
a live audience.
Environment Art
Involves the artistic creation or manipulation
of space such as landscape, or architectural
design that may enclose its audience.
Feminist Art
Emerged from concerns of female artist
expressed through art.
Had a stripped- down, pre-fabricated look, free
of details and often with flat surface but
expresses a specific content or statement
Video Art
Consist of images that are recorded
through a video and viewed through
television, computer or projection screen.
Graffiti Art
Is a drawing, inscription or sketch done
hastily on a wall or other surface made to
be seen by the public.
Postmodern Art
Carries modern style to extreme practices,
often expressing an idea through a mix of
materials such as found objects welded
Body Art
Isan art form that uses the body as the
medium or main material.
Digital Art
Isdone with the aid of computer to create
an image or design composed of bits and
Some art styles progress through the
decades and have influenced artists
throughout the globe.

Abstract Expressionism
Color Field
Fantastic Realism

Abstract Expressionism
Color Field
Computer Art
Conceptual Art
Kinetic Art
Light and Space
Op Art
Performance Art

Body Art
Environmental Art
Feminist Art
Video Art
Pattern and Decoration

Body Art
Environmental Art
Feminist Art
Video Art
Pattern and Decoration

Art intervention
Body Art
Digital Art
Internet Art
New Media Art
In contemporary art in the Philippines,
there is a dominance of abstraction,
expressionism, social realism, and mixed
media art.
Recently, community and
environmental arts are gaining
popularity. When there is public space
that can be used by artist, they
collaborate in art-making and conduct
workshops to teach and involve the
children or specific groups in the
Interactive art-making is also practiced
among Filipino artist. In some cases, visual
arts is combined with performance art to
make statement or express an idea about
an issue. Film has expanded to include
indie films that explore specific themes.
Theatre performs are no longer confined to
the theatre stage. They can be perform on
the streets with minimal props that enable
transport and movement. In music, there is
fusion of difference styles and use of words
song sang in irregular sound patterns.
Although the trend in
contemporary art is one of
explorative use of new material
aided by technology, it’s content
does not leave out human
elements, concern, issues, and
things of high value to human