Monochromatic artwork is not getting enough attention. Its simplicity, its audaciousness and its provocativeness began a black&white revolution during the 19th and 20th centuries but quieted down in following years. With the revolts of the 80s and 90s, street art and monochromatic artwork fused to create inspiring and deliberately expressive art as a form of language.
Monochromatic painting has been an important component of avant-garde visual art throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. From geometric precision to expressionism, the monochrome has proved to be a durable idiom in Contemporary art. Monochromatic artwork was initiated at the first Incoherent arts’ exhibition in 1882 in Paris, with a black painting by poet Paul Bilhaud entitled “Combat de Nègres dans un tunnel” (Negroes fight in a tunnel).
White on White
1918 by Kazimir Malevich
Monochrome painting as it is usually understood today began in Moscow, with Suprematist Composition: White on White of 1918 by Suprematist artist Kazimir Malevich. Two approaches articulated very early in monochromatic artwork history being in a paradoxical dynamic: one can read a monochrome either as a flat surface which represents nothing but itself or as a depiction of multidimensional (infinite) space, representing a new evolution – a new beginning – in Western painting’s history.
Monochromatic Artwork /Urban Street Art
Street art is visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues. The term gained popularity during the graffiti art boom of the early 1980s and continues to be applied to subsequent incarnations.
Nowadays the form of street art can be seen in unorthodox ways. Designers have liberally taken the form of the art and infused it with their own to create unique designs. Urban street art is characterized by strong emotional expression through simple, sometimes brutalized objects/events. Creame offers a new look at monochromatic artwork inspired by the urban street art style. Artists such as Darren Kane and Dailing Su give monochrome a new name and an important role in its own right.
Monochromatic artwork gave way to many different styles, such as, abstract expressionism, colour field, lyrical abstraction, etc. Many have an estranged conception of what monochrome is, it is not merely black and white, but an art form that explores emotion through one single colour and the many shades of it. For example, a monochromatic artwork could be created by the mixture of black, white and grey, just as well as it can be created by the shades of blue or red, or green. Still, to think in terms of black and white is most popular when regarding monochrome.
How To Combine Black & White?
Going full monochrome in the black-white spectre is something that has to be learnt how to master. the important thing here is the black/white ratio. The most popular would be 30/70 with the white being the major colour. The reason for this ratio is the heaviness of black. If used too much it may give off a feeling of depression, that is why one must develop an instinct in positioning the right black with the right white in the right place.
Monochrome, in essence, is very pure and has a gravity of singularity that is undeniable in any interior design or fashion statement. If you do not wish to go full blast black and white monochrome then you can easily add some colour to accent a particular detail.
Darren Kane takes the urban street vibe to another level. With the fusion of graffiti and stencil elements into his designs he expresses emotion through complex narratives, just like those seen during the graffiti boom in New York City in the 19070s/80s.
To try monochrome is a feat in its own right, it takes persistence and undeniable belief in your idea. But with a strong resolution monochrome will be one of the most aesthetically pleasing design genres, its simplicity, purity and minimalism will bring a new wave of emotion and spatial revelations. To understand that white on white is as much colourful as red on blue – is more like a spiritual journey.