Let's Talk about Contemporary Art

I recently made a visit to my gallery in Naples, FL to discuss the art business; the kind of work they carry, what sells. I am new to this gallery and I want to do work for them that fits in with what they are currently representing. I always thought my work was on the contemporary side of representational. But I have realized that wasn't true! For example, last season they carried this piece of mine, "Warm Breeze".

In a contemporary piece, in my opinion, the figure would be simplified or abstracted, like Goli Mahallati's piece below. 

Both figurative paintings of a women with totally different approaches. Both work as a painting but they are worlds apart! Another example would be my new collection of florals. This time my piece, "Big, Bold and Beautiful" would be considered contemporary...


While the floral below, "Crystal Vase", by Trisha Adams is an example of representational. Both beautiful. Both very different. There would be different types of homes that each piece would go in. 


I am working on a piece that I hope to call a contemporary painting when I finish it. It is 48" square. My idea is that it is like a dream, a Mother and Daughter walking on the beach. (I think that a lot of the dream feeling paintings are also contemporary art.) I would say I am 50% done at this time. There's a flock of seagulls behind the Mother breaking up over the daughter.  I still plan on adding many more layers, anchoring the figures to the ground and maybe a diagonal line of different size beach balls floating across the whole image. They would be in front of the figures while the seagulls are behind the figures. If you look really closely at the lower right edge of the painting you will see a faint beach ball. I am testing the idea out. The painting is on unstretched canvas stapled to a board.

BTW, I tried to find a definition on Contemporary Art by googling it but the 1st page definitions were mostly sounding like this, "Contemporary art is the art of today, produced by artists who are living in the twenty-first century. Contemporary art provides an opportunity to reflect on contemporary society and the issues relevant to ourselves, and the world around us." That's not my definition! I would love to know what your definition is. Please leave it for me in the comments. If I get enough comments, I'll do a second blog on the subject using your comments along with the finished painting above.