Saturday, October 17, 2009

MAM Poll (September) Results: Preferred style of art

Types of style: percentage share of 101 responses
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Three responses dominated the September poll which aimed to identify your style of art. Although there was a healthy minority of responses across a wide range of different styles.

If you right click on the above chart and open it in a new tab you can see the results more clearly for all the different styles.

What's your style of art?
  • 37% prefer to characterise their art as 'realism'
  • 23% think their art is done in the impressionist style
  • 13% prefer to produce art using expressionism
MAM Poll (September 2009): What's your style of art? identified definitions for the different styles of art which were suggested as possible answers.

Interestingly only 3% owned up to never having thought about the style of their art while 2% thought that their art was not influenced by the styles of others.

The poll also attracted a lot of comments about the different styles and the poll responses.

What is style? Maybe ought to have been the question I asked. It would appear that we don't all share the same notion. Is it to do with its heritage and influences, ways of working or its appearance? What's your view?

Contemporary art: The very first comment highlighted the misnomer in using 'contemporary' as a style statement since this, by definition, means it's being produced now. I've never quite understood what was meant by the use of 'contemporary art' as a style statement since by definition everything we are producing right now is 'contemporary'! Does it tell me anything? not much! However the Tate thinks it means 'new' as well as 'now' and my opinion poll terminology was influenced by the Tate Glossary.

Photorealism versus realism: I found it interesting that photorealism attracted so few responses (just 2) given that a number of artists prefer to copy photos rather than paint from life.

Could it be that some of the people who termed their art 'realism' would like to aspire to photorealism but don't think they've got the technical skills as yet. Or is it that people consciously change aspects of the photos they use and therefore don't consider their art photorealistic?

Abstract / Expressionism: There's obviously a very healthy segment of the readers of this blog who consider their work to lie towards the abstract end of the style spectrum - with a significant number characterising their art as being expressionist in style.

Another chance for you to comment: Do the results surprise you in any way?

I know it left me wondering whether styles had anything to do with WHERE people painted (eg plein air or studio) and the amount of time and level of control that they choose to exercise.



  1. It doesn't surprise me that realism is the most favoured. I like some of it, but abstract-impressions are by far my fav, and they are not lagging too far behind...great post!

  2. Interesting indeed, Katherine! Couple of things come to mind when I see these [and only speaking for myself and my sometimes skewed view :) of the world]....

    - While I am in creation mode, I don't consciously think, "What style am I working on?" I just work. My tussling in determining my style only comes after looking at my body of work and seeing trends.

    - I agree that 'contemporary' may not best by itself to describe a style, however if you are using a style from the past (aren't most?) and adding a contemporary twist to it (medium, subject, etc), I can understand it's use. Maybe not as a style of it's own, but as a qualifier to another.

    - Realism vs. Photorealism = interesting take! I think you may have hit the nail on the head in that I suspect that many more have photorealism in their target sites.

    After reading this, it's got me thinking about how an artist's style may change as they practice, grow, mature. Thanks for the ponderings!


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