Art in the Times of Coronavirus: Would TikTok Dances Be the Art That We Are Remembered For?

My thought lately has been: is there going be fantastic art as a result of this COVID19 pandemic? Would this pandemic distract us, hurt us, overwhelm us enough to inspire us to make impactful art? And would artists and painters be remembered as we remember Munch or Keith? Or would these times be only defined by The Renegade? So many questions.

Art In the Times of Pandemics

The Misery is a Realist oil on canvas painting created by Cristóbal Rojas Poleo in 1886. Source: arthistoryproject.com

This painting, and many others from Cristobal Rojas, gave me a clear idea of what it was like to experience a pandemic take over and start wiping out loved ones. It was there; it was real; it was all around him. I’d think he was probably profoundly affected and impacted by it, so much so, that it defined his craft and for what he is remembered for.

That, of course, got me curious and I started to read about other artists around the world that created art during (or inspired by) a pandemic. I learned about Norwegian expressionist artist Edvard Munch, who did self-portrait after he survived the Spanish Flu and Titian, who died of the plague. Titian’s last work was Pieta, where he shows a dramatic and nocturnal scene of suffering.

Edvard Munch’s ‘Self-Portrait After The Spanish Flu’ (1919)
Titian’s ‘Pieta’ (1575)

Art In the Times of COVID19

I obviously do not have the answer to those questions. However, what I do know is that fantastic art is being produced during COVID19 times. And, I am all about that. I am currently following #StayHomeCreateArt over at Ello. I am happy to see artwork that doesn’t only represent the pain that the ‘Rona has brought, but also celebrates our nurses and health care professionals. I have also seen work that GOOD message: stay home, wash your hands, and, most importantly: DO NOT INJECT BLEACH INTO YOUR SKIN.

by Sammy Rodriguez

For what is worth, if you are creating art during this pandemic: I see you. I will remember you. And while I can’t promise you that you or your artwork will be remembered the way that artists were recognized back in the early 1900s, that should not stop you from expressing yourself.

stop surviving by @justsoantsy

Document these crazy times. Show your pain or frustration. Share your work. Even if it’s a TikTok dance video, photography, or an oil painting, it will represent this reality that we are all are experiencing. However, art will also come out of pain from being ill, from losing someone, from losing your job. Those artists should be the ones we don’t forget, along with our healthcare professionals, they need to be supported, by you, by us.

Have you made any art inspired by all this quarantine and pandemic?