Art Genres – Artiliving

Art genres

Posted by Hooma Roy choudhury on

    Art: Expression or application of creative skill and imagination, often through a visual medium like painting or a 3D media like sculpture.
    Genre - A class or category of artistic endevour having a particular form, content, technique, or the like.The word genre comes from the French word for “type” or “kind” and has been traditionally used in the arts to differentiate the type of work that is being produced.
  • Genres in photography If we classify in general ; Commercial photography ,Artistic photography, Technical photography are major sub divisions. Apart from these, there are so many genres/types of photography, out of which we are listing a top few here namely; Architectural , Candid, Fashion, Food, Macro , Nature, Night, Portrait , Street, Wildlife 
    • Genres in painting - Abstract, Conceptual ,Eastern style/Indian, Fauvism, Futurism, Hyperrealism, Impressionism,Minimalism,Photorealism , Pop, Surrealism etc
    • Types in sculpture - Standing or Relief


    Introduction to various terms  :-


    Images which do not reflect visual reality, as opposed to Realism, which seeks to show exactly what the eyes see. Abstract art refers to a style of painting that does not use figurative reality as a reference. Instead, the artist alludes to his or her subject and reduces it to a simplified form..

    Images that are created for commercial or advertising purposes, with or without other artistic purpose.

    Architectural photography

    Photographing of buildings and similar structures that are both aesthetically pleasing and accurate representations of their subjects

    Art about flowers and plants.

    Candid photography

    Capturing the photographs of the subject, where he/she is clueless about the camera and photographer is called candid photography. Most of the photographs we see in the news papers, books and many historic pictures are candid. The photographs display the natural expression of the subject.  

    Images made in relation to Classical antiquity, or with classical techniques (such as chiaroscuro)

    Comic strips and cartoonish characters

    Art in which the ideas and concepts take precedence over the imagery.

    Artwork that has been produced employing techniques made popular after World War II.


    Cubism is characterized by geometric figures. Cubist painters analyze the subject and break it up into a geometric abstract form. These are normally viewpoints of the subject from various angles.

    Images that exist purely for decorative and ornamental purposes. These types of works seek to add a decorative essence to a room.

    Images created with traditional drawing materials - pen and ink, pencil, charcoal.

    Eastern Style/Indian

    The history of Eastern art includes a vast range of influences from various cultures and religions. Developments in Eastern art historically parallel those in Western art.Includes African , Islamic, Jewish , Indian , Chinese , Buddhist, Japanese. etc

    Usually used to describe candid, investigative photojournalism.

    Tasteful images of nudes in any medium.

    Fashion photography
    Relating to clothing, accessories, and models.


    Fauvism is an art movement that occurred sometime after impressionism. While impressionism retains a somewhat realistic representation of the subjects, Fauvist paintings focus on strong color. Artists employing this style have wild brush strokes and highly simplified subjects.

    Fine Art 
    Artwork that exists purely for aesthetics rather than function.

    Food Photography

    This genre is very commercial and at the same time aesthetic as well. Food photography is commonly seen in all the places especially cafes and restaurants.  It does need some skill as it depends on photographer to show the group of food products and different varieties of food in a pleasant and attractive way.

    Folk Art 
    Images or objects which reflect the traditional culture of a particular region or place, and is generally made by self-trained artists.


    Futurism is a painting style that concerns itself with subjects like the technology, speed, violence, and the future of the world. It concerns itself with the depiction of man’s triumph over nature. This movement rejects the establishment and praises originality. To recreate this level of emotional dynamism on canvas, futurist paintings adopted the cubist style of painting where they deconstruct subjects into geometric figures to show movement.

    Generative Art 
    Art that has been generated by algorithms, generally through computer software (i.e. Fractals)

    Images that convey a particular culture of place or traditional modes of expression. Generally this term is applied to art which reflects non-European modes of expression.

    Graphic Design 
    A broad term referring to the art of visual communication, generally in a commercial sense, where presentation is most important. Clean, bright images, perhaps with typographical elements.

    An image depicting or relating to a real person or event from the past.

    Artwork with humorous elements and intention.


    Hyperrealism is an advancement of the photorealism art movement. Artists use high-resolution cameras to take photographs and paint them on canvas. Compared to photorealism, however, hyper realist paintings have exaggerated shadows and inanimate objects display lifelikeness, even though they do not normally possess these qualities. Hyperrealism focuses on a false "super" reality.


    Impressionism is one of the earliest modern painting styles that originated in Paris, France. It is characterized by thin brushstrokes and an emphasis on the depiction of light. Impressionist artists often painted outdoors to capture sunlight and color of their subjects. In the 1870s, Impressionist paintings were considered radical because they did not paint according to the rules.

    Images of landscapes, real or imaginary.

    Macro photography
    Images that are incredibly close up. Generally refers to photographs.


    Minimalism is an art movement that is, as expected, characterized by simplicity.Minimalist paintings strip down the subject to its very essence. Instead of energy-filled self-expression as is the hallmark of abstract expressionism, minimalist art, on the other hand, paints only what the artist believes is necessary.

    Nature photography

    Refers to a wide range of photography taken outdoors and devoted to displaying natural elements such as landscapes, wildlife, plants and close-ups of natural scenes and textures.

    Night photography

    Refers to photos taken outdoors between dusk and dawn. 


    From the name itself, a photo realist painting is one that looks as realistic as a photograph. This is done by taking a picture of the subject and then painting it. Photorealism is an art movement influenced by pop art, and it ran counter as a reaction to abstract expressionism. Unlike abstract art or conceptual art, photorealist painting has to be done by an artist who possesses advanced technical ability to capture the realism of the photograph onto canvas.

    Pop Art 
    Art that utilizes popular imagery and commodities as resources and inspiration.Pop Art Paintings occurred as a reaction to abstract expressionism, which mid-1950s British artists believed was art that was far-removed from daily life. Pop Art revolved around mundane subjects like comic books, advertising, celebrities, and other objects found in the everyday. It was a return to realism and representation in art.

    Portrait photography/painting
    High emphasis on the mood of the subject and the facial expressions are called portrait photographs.Basically it came from the portrait painting which was highly on demand before the invention of camera.Portraiture usually tells a story and subject’s mood is clearly noticed through the eyes.

    Artwork that focuses on depicting subjects and objects accurately, as they appear in reality.

    Street photography

    It is the capturing of human activity in those particular outdoor surroundings. Street photography is not about capturing the street rather it is capturing the soul and life of those streets. Street photographs are lively and have a story and moment in it

    A cultural and artistic movement based on surprise, unexpected composition, and irrational thought.Surrealism is a modern painting style that juxtaposes various images together to give a startling effect. The images in these paintings are often illogical and have a dream-like quality about them. Such paintings emphasize the subconscious.

    Art that uses established techniques to visually depict homey, comfortable scenes.

    Imagery that is inspired by cities and city life, including street life. 

    Wildlife photography

    As the name suggests, it is about capturing the wild animals in jungle. Wild life photography is the most challenging and adventurous type of photography. One needs to have telephoto lens to capture the animals in the jungle.

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