In today’s day and age, it is almost customary for artists to make it clear to the public what their political and social motivations are behind their work. New Jersey native and artist Clifford Miskell presents this same narrative in his work, and  with his chosen name. The painter changed his name in 1997 to Cbabi Bayoc. Both names are acronyms that represent his beliefs and who he is as a person. Cbabi stands for Creative Black Artist Battling Ignorance, and Bayoc stands for Blessed African Youth of Creativity.

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When looking at art it’s easy to consider the evolution of creative expression. There are various forms, techniques, and periods. However, like most artistry, they are all influenced by one another. Subjective art has the ability to elicit emotions no matter if it is positively or negatively perceived. Many art traditions evolve and grow while still remaining as a medium among present-day creatives. This is applicable to the work of Georgia artist, Leigh Ann Culver, who has more than a decade of experience in creating distinctive pieces of art.

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Can you imagine walking into an art gallery expecting to see paintings, but only seeing large photographs of everyday people instead? Artwork as realistic as the paintings created by German artist David Uessem could trick anyone into thinking they’ve just looked at a photo. Uessem is known for taking snapshots of everyday life and painting realistic portraits of the pictures with his own authentic twist.

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Artwork can overwhelm you with emotion or bring up certain memories from your past. When I first saw artist Richard Hart’s painting of an individual, that seems to be a woman based on the facial features, gazing blankly into the distance with what looks like the weight of the world on her shoulders, I immediately felt her pain.

The painting was inspired by a picture of a sculpture created by author Malvina Hoffman. I couldn’t stop staring at this one particular piece of art. The eyes in Hart’s painting drew me in and allowed me to feel a sense of sadness and loss of hope.The simplicity of the colors blue, black and white somewhat represent a darkness that hangs over them.  Around her eyes, there’s a huge presence of the colors black and dark blue, demonstrating she’s tired and possibly feeling defeated. There’s a small amount of the color white in her eyes that could be illustrating just a small bit of optimism, that things could still get better.

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Since the 18th century, the industrial revolution industry has created a way of life that harms nature, from deforestation to air pollution. Many political advocacy groups, like the Environmental Defense Fund, have taken action to reduce industrial growth, while others have decided to let their voice be heard in a different way.

North Carolina based contemporary artist Brian Mashburn uses his artwork to express his feelings about the matter. Mashburn is known for his hyperrealistic oil paintings, which typically depict a post-apocalyptic world, in which animals habitats are encroached upon by human activity, and human beings are few in numbers. At first glance, his pieces portray beautiful scenes of nature, but the meaning behind his work runs a little deeper. The artist showcases the beauty of the environment by including animals and outdoor scenery in his paintings. He then brings you back to reality by displaying the negative effects of urbanization, while maintaining the fact that nature and industrial urban areas coexist. Though they exist in the same space, they appear to be on different scales.

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