Going Beyond Paints and Canvas – Innovative and Unconventional Approaches to Art

Whenever someone mentions art, I believe the first association or the mental image that pops up in our heads is either a painting or a sculpture. This is called prototype theory in cognitive science or semantics, and it occurs with pretty much any other categorization, as some members or elements of the category are more central compared to others.

In other words, unconventional art forms would be those that you don’t come to mind when someone mentions the word art. In fact, these might be a form of expression you have not ever seen. Although, it’s unlikely you have never stumbled upon them if you spend time online. So, here I am going to list some of these unconventional forms of expression because I find them quite intriguing.  

3D Street Art

We can’t really say that optical illusions are an innovative approach to art, but in recent years it started to gain popularity for one reason, street art. Today you can find amazing sidewalks with “three-dimensional” images or optical illusions. Typically, these images are pavement all torn and cracked or split in half, and you can see the bottomless abyss. It’s fun because it can fool you for a second or two the first time you see it, and it breathes new life into the street. In fact, it has become so popular some brands are using the approach for advertising. 

Lego Art

Lego blocks are so much more than toys. Sure they are fun and have their own set of instructions on how to use them, but they bear so much potential for personal expression. In fact, it is those who ignored the instructions that managed to tap into this creative power of lego blocks, which resulted in some pretty amazing plastic statues. I strongly encourage you to check the work of Nathan Sawaya, a former lawyer, who decided to pursue his passion for becoming a LEGO artist and quit his job.  

Recycled Art

One man’s trash is another man’s canvas, or tools, or art. Recycled art is sculptures made out of scrap metal or materials, which are typically thrown away by people. This is a truly unique form of expression, as it creates something majestic an amazing, using discarded items. It is a statement that art is more than a sum of its parts and that there is a unique potential in everything around us, all we need is a right vision to follow in order to realize this greatness.   

Art Installations

This art form is bound to break free unconventional categories and become more mainstream because it is truly astonishing. It may need a lot of open space to pull off, but basically, it uses various elements to create an image or to give you a unique experience. One such example is the Rain Room, which relies on the setting, cameras, and installation, to allow visitors to experience rain without getting wet. It’s so absurd, the rain follows you throughout the room, but you are not getting wet.  If you want to see this for yourself make sure you visit Barbican Art Gallery.