If we go back and analyze art through the centuries, we can see that the first ten years of a century are always more fertile because the new idea, the movement, the change or historical and social influences dictate the direction of art and by the end of the century it is time for a new direction, new thoughts and emotions tied to new social directives. Today, we can almost see a small version of this every decade. Looking at the beginning of each decade we see new movements because contemporary art is not bound by the ways of the past.
Contemporary art from its inception was bound to cost more than antique or classical art because it is disseminated through the market, thereby finding its confirmation in that market. All old classical paintings were born with an identity such as, the person commissioning the work, and or where it was to be placed. With Impressionism, that rapport was destroyed and, painting became blind per se, without a destination. With contemporary art, the work is not made for anyone, but on the other hand, it is for everyone and thus, the birth of the art vendor, his job, to find a destination for the artwork. An artist without a vendor is a dead artist.
Since Contemporary artwork is born blind, the artist is self-governing and the vendor welcomes all that is produced. The personal relationship of the past is broken and the vendor becomes the collector, the reference point from which radiates the artwork and its distribution.
Contemporary art is not just relegated to what is produced in our times, it also includes art that was previously not visible (such as, the bronze statues just revealed from the depths of the sea in 1981), because prior to this they were invisible except to marine life.
For a work of art to exist, it must be visible and be seen otherwise, it is as if the work was never born or never existed. Once light has been shed upon a work, this is not just physical light but also light coming from the attention of others, it begins to breathe and communicate its poetry.
Van Gogh believed that art must coincide with life. It is not a representation of emotion but an extension of one’s existence, similar to a scream carved into the canvas, as if the body of the artist were lowered into the artwork. Van Gogh is the icon to this malaise, which is the foundation of Contemporary art. In terms of Renoir or Monet, his subjects are the negation of impressionism, that bourgeois life, lunch on the lawn, scenes of wonderful tranquility and sweetness. Van Gogh is that of the abandoned, the derelicts; his sunflowers are a visual shock with a good dose of hypnotic magic.
So, drawing a conclusion, the foundation and roots of contemporary art are a suffering or malaise, and we should recognize Van Gogh as the founding father of Contemporary Art, he represented in his works that which we should not see but existed. His real emotions were expressed; his trauma as a truth and thus, the reality of his inner being.