The problem here is that these squealing man-children, so desperate to keep women out of their precious games, want it both ways. They want gaming to be taken seriously as a culture and art form, while at the same time throwing an unbelievable tantrum when subjected to serious criticism. This is ludicrous and immature on so many levels. Gaming isn’t for you, anymore. Gaming is for everyone. Everyone gets to have their say, to make their criticism, and gaming doesn’t need you to defend it.
The only thing left for these people to do is put their toys back in the pram and huddle together as the tide rises against them, until they wake up in five year’s time and realise that Assassin’s Creed 7 was actually a pretty good game, even though they had to waste three precious seconds flicking the gender over to ‘male’ on the character creation screen so they can feel comfortable again. Change is inevitable, especially when half of the freaking gamers in the country are women and actually want to play some games that don’t treat them like disposable trash.
So, here’s another change for you: if you really think feminism, or women, are destroying games, or that LGBT people and LGBT relationships have no place in games, or that games in any way belong to you or are “under attack” from political correctness or “social justice warriors”: please leave this website. I don’t want your clicks, I don’t want your hits, I don’t want your traffic. Leave now and please don’t come back.
Two distinctive art forms emerged during the early 20th century and both have enjoyed a revival in the 21st but what is Art Nouveau or Art Deco? What do they represent and why are they so different from one another? I’m going to give a quick rundown of these two styles as well as some of the most famous examples of the stye, in the hope to work out what’s been so enduring and why they’ve made a resurgence.
The roots of Art Nouveau are based in a group of artists who wanted to create something entirely separate form traditional art that had come before. Based in the fluid motions and recreating the natural form, these art style branched out into print, jewellery, decoration and furniture. It was a decisive style initially; when people first saw it they tended to either love it or hate it. This style was also heavily influenced by the philosophy that came from the movement. Many of those who supported and created art nouveau pieces believed that art should have a more meaningful place in everyday life. Art should aim to be a way of life.
Art Nouveau was the first distinctive art style of the 20th century and was most popular from 1890-1910. Though it drew inspiration from nature, this wasn’t an art form that shunned the industry that was growing around it. In fact, this was the first art movement to be mass produced, with print being used to expand the reach of this artistic style. Even today there are elements of the print medium that are instantly recognisable. For instance, the image on the right (Le Chat Noir) is considered an epitome of the style at the time, which was originally used as a sign for a cabaret club.
It wasn’t just traditional art and paintings that were affected by this new art philosophy. Art Nouveau was also having a dramatic effect on the nature of jewellery. Up until this point, jewellery was defined by the gem stone it was setting. The more valuable the gem, the greater the appeal for the item of jewellery. Because of their interest in gracious lines and taking inspiration from nature, jewellery inspired by Art Nouveau often featured a far greater interest in the style of the setting. This created silver, gold and metal jewellery that featured languishing designs and flowing details that weren’t dependant on a gemstone. This meant that the skill and craft of the metal worker became just as instantly noticeable as the gemstone set alongside it. Look at the amethyst jewellery to the left, which is detailed with amethyst gem stones but is far more attractive due to the lithe nature of the metal craft. That is a contemporary example of jewellery created in the nouveau style but it’s instantly noticeable that the gemstones are serving as an additional detail, rather than the main appeal of the piece.
Though it was incredibly popular amongst certain circles for a period of time, Art Nouveau waned quickly in the second decade of the 20th Century. It was, in turn, replaced in popularity by an entirely different style of popular art known as Art Deco.
Art Deco became a style that also grew massively in popularity during the early part of the 20th Century. Epitomised by the roaring 20’s and the “flapper”, art deco found its way into fashion, jewellery, furniture, art and architecture. There are still many famous examples of buildings that were created in the Art Deco style, including the Chrysler building.
So what defined this style? A dedication to industry rather than the natural art of life. This style didn’t come with a philosophy and also encouraged embellishments such as marcasite and glass. Defined by geometric lines as apposed to the natural curves of the movement that came before, it’s also worth remembering that this style rose to prominence after WW1 (still known as “The Great War”). Part of this could have been as a way of quantifying the world around them, being able to create order and control via the leaps in technology being made. Even the natural form was “rejected” in some sense, with flat lines in clothing being far more appealing than the curve of the human body (more on that later).
Because of its focus on industry and the modern way of life, art deco was used a great deal in the advertisements of industrial advances like trains, steam liners and cars. It was an example of the external design reflecting the inner workings of the machines. The science fiction film “Metropolis” also featured a great deal of art deco style, representing a heavily industrial and mechanised vision of the future. Bear in mind that this was before the concept of an industrialised future being a bad thing.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, both these styles have seen something of a revival. Part of this is likely to be associated with the recent vintage movement, where items and styles from the early 20th century have a classic and timeless quality. More specifically, there’s been more than enough time to prune out the more divisive examples from the Art Nouvea and Art Deco canons, leaving pieces that are far more likely to be of a more timeless appeal. The rise of internet parody has also left no stone unturned, so it would be incredibly unusual if these art styles remained entirely untouched. The earlier Le Chat Noir image is popular enough that the first page of results for “le Chat Noir” is littered with popular imitations referencing popular culture.
The flowing nature of Art Nouveau and it’s choice to distinguish a primary figure surrounded by natural detail has made for a great deal of modern day interpretations. With the rise of fandoms, it’s the perfect blend of an enthusiast’s hobby and this classic art form. Art Nouveau has been defined by how versatile it is in presenting an artistic subject. It could also be that the recent drive for more nouveau style is because, once again, our generation is seeking a way to blend the natural world with how we present out artistic understanding of it.
I also wonder if art deco (though still incredibly popular) is defined by its associations with industry. We are no longer enjoying the industrial boom of the 20th century and many of the qualities that suggested moderninty in the 20’s are now hopelessly dated (smoke plumes, hard angles and visible building struts). When researching this piece I noticed that, although the geometric style of art deco is enduring, the embellishments are still considered somewhat gaudy. Jewellery based on the art deco movement often features less intense diamond detailing or marcasite, though it is still reocognisable of the era. Usually these embellishments serve to enhance the lines, still leaving uncovered areas (excepting for the incredibly expensive jewellery, which still features such decoration and always will).
Again, with Art Deco there are certain elements that we choose to forget about in our contemporary life. The recent film The Great Gatsby caused a revival of 1920’s style but opted to ignore the curve-less designs that we mentioned earlier. The female form is so pleasant to many in our current time, the costume designers opted to keep breasts and noticeable hips front and centre for many of the outfit choices. This is how you blend together these vintage fashion, whilst still keeping what we consider to be attractive in our contemporary age.
So, do I consider there to be something special about these two styles that has caused people to turn back and look at them again. They’re in prime placement for a revival, as a century has passed since both were popular. But it’s worth remembering that these remembrances are on our terms. We don’t want a period perfect version of these art styles, artists love the intricacies of Art Nouveau because it pushes their abilities. We love art deco style but we’d still like to be recognisably feminine. Perhaps it’s because both these styles can survive our own interpretations that they’ve been able to survive so long, and will continue to survive into the future?Art Nouveau and Art Deco: Art Philosophy and Industry Two distinctive art forms emerged during the early 20th century and both have enjoyed a revival in the 21st but what is Art Nouveau or Art Deco?
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