southwest art decor

Animal Portrayal In Contemporary Art

Animals as Part of Contemporary Art Decor

For tens of thousands of years, wild beasts have been a major inspiration source for our creative impulse, and the most ancient cave paintings depicting animals are as old as art itself. Pictures of bison, horses, deer, and other creatures can be found all across the globe, especially in France and Spain – some of these records can be traced back to roughly forty thousand years ago. Back in those days, the representation of animals was much more objective, as they were seen as sources of food and pelts for those severe winters, nothing else. However, as our human processes started to evolve, so did our artistic understandings and perceptions. Animal portrayals gained subjectivity, as they acquired a more symbolic and spiritual status.

In this regard, Ancient Egypt is arguably the most relevant case study. Cats, jackals, hawks, herons, scarab beetles, scorpions, and several other creatures were highly regarded as sacred and, as such, the Egyptians spared no efforts to immortalize these animal deities through means of artistic expressions – often ornamenting tombs and temples with only the most delicate stones and fabrics. A few thousands of years later and both throughout Western and Eastern civilizations, humanity started to become fascinated by mythical beasts. Dragons, griffins, hydras, chimeras, phoenixes, and countless other creatures dominated the lore and the artistic and creative processes, up until the middle ages – when Humanism took over, glorifying the perfection of mankind.

Animal depiction suffered a brief hiatus for a few hundred of years. However, the Contemporary Movement renewed the importance of animals through varied artistic expressions – imbuing these pictures with the beauty of subjectivity. Instead of just depicting an ordinary creature, Contemporary Wildlife Art strives to portray the singularities of one particular animal – as well as the personal and unique feelings that each canvas evokes on its viewers. Southwest Contemporary Art is particularly rich in this respect, sustaining an active link between the many native traditions and customs while blending them with fresh and bold artistic techniques.

Southwest Art Decor from Contemporary Artist John Nieto

Feel free to browse around the several contemporary giclee prints available at our online Southwest Art Gallery. Each and every one of our Contemporary Wildlife Art pieces is sure to represent the majestic features of animals commonly found throughout the Southwest regions – wolves, coyotes, wildcats, and several others. After the span of several thousands of years, we are now finally closing in on a full circle and returning back to basics. The artistic portrayal of animal grandeur speaks directly to our souls by exciting our most primal instincts of soaring freedom.