Why figurative art is the little black dress of the art world

Emerging Artists
By Janine Wixforth
Why figurative art is the little black dress of the art world Why figurative art is the little black dress of the art world
With ever more overlapping styles and genres on the market, it is sometimes hard to decide which style you want to go for when buying art. There are trends that come and go in slightly changed forms but there's one all other movements depart from: figurative art. Depicting objects, especially the human form is perhaps the oldest art form. Nowadays it responds to digitalization, questions of gender, race & equality and all aspects shaping human identity today. 

For some time in the late 20th and beginning of this century figurative art was frowned upon like conceptual abstraction's uncool old sister. Curator Alison Gingeras goes so far to say that "it was not okay to like it." But we think it is. Since Gagosian's famous figurative show "Unrealism" in 2015 and risen art stars such as John Currin and Kehinde Wiley, figurative art tackling the human form is fresher than ever.  And this trend is also visible in the top art schools. We've put together a few of our favourite emerging artists from our platform below that show how excitingly varied the latest figurative approaches are. The conclusion from this is that as long as we stay human, we will explore and depict ourselves dealing with the pressing questions of our own identity. So buying a piece of figurative art will always be a good choice like buying a little black dress is. 

Holly Reed, graduate from Royal College of Art, London, is occupied with questions of looking and being looked at in the light of the media's constant image bombardement. Her figures radiate a sensuality that is at thesame time exciting and painful. 
Seth Stewart-Brown, student at City and Guilds of London Art School, juxtaposes the classical and the modern. The halo and beams of light surrounding the figure's head are similar to stain glass works within churches and we are reminded of ancient mythology and religion opening up a dialogue with contemporary brand imagery.
Austin Moule, graduate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison describes his works as surrealist cartoons in which the figure is limited to its most basic elements. The skin texture suggests resemblance with inanimate objects and an idiosyncratic humour emanates from the contrast of heavily worked surfaces and quickly made brush strokes. 
Billy Parker, student at Slade School of Art London, works with flat layers of acrylic built up to create an image. He aims at creating fun pieces placing figures in theatrical, stage-like spaces to create intimate but at the same time anonymous narratives. 
Isar, student at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, likes to paint daily scenes observing her surroundings as if she were an alien only briefly visiting this planet. She is interested in the figures that emerge from watching groups involved in one common activity such as rugby or football to depict that which is directly visible and that which is ephemeral or even spiritual. 
browse artwork
Why figurative art is the little black dress of the art world Why figurative art is the little black dress of the art world

You may also want to read...

5 abstract painters to watch
Emerging Artists

5 abstract painters to watch By Janine Wixforth

No contemporary art museum, art fair or important masters auction can go without abstract painting. The next generation of artists exploring the ...

Delivery & Returns


Artworks are professionally packaged by us or the artist. Packaging and delivery method will vary according to the type of work. Shipping costs will vary depending on the price, the dimensions, and the weight of the artwork purchased. Shipping costs are thus subject to change.


If you are a customer living in the European Union, the legal return period is 7 days after receipt of your order. Please note that returns are only possible if in accordance with the Terms & Conditions. If you want to return an item please contact us via info@artpiq.net first. Please note that you cannot return the artwork without contacting us beforehand, as in this case the artwork will not be insured. ARTPIQ is not responsible for any damages or loss occurring through unauthorised return shipping and will in this case not be able to release your refund.


Newsletter signup