It’s been said by many that times of hardship, crisis, and adversity are the times that inspire the most beauty and an overall increase in creative output from artists of all kinds. It’s certainly not a new concept – even this year Adobe and Artwork Archive have mused on how the pandemic has affected artists creatively.
And it’s true. Throughout human history, some of the greatest periods of creative output and artistic innovation have coincided with periods of hardship. During the Great Plague, Sir Isaac Newton created the Theory of Gravity. WWI inspired the Dada art movement. And from the period of the Great Depression and WWII came the thriving Golden Age of Hollywood.
So it’s not surprising that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen artists creating a steady stream of memorable, beautiful, and poignant works. Dancers, sculptors, designers, musicians, singers, photographers, painters, makers, and actors have been coming out of the woodwork with their creations, and we’ve been all for it.
As a collective, Duet Design Group has been impressed, inspired, and moved by the many artistic expressions we’ve seen this year. So we’ve collected a few of our favorites to share here, and hope they inspire just as much joy and creativity in others as they did with us… Enjoy!
Boxing Nurse Mural
Coronavirus-themed murals have popped up around the world, but our favorite was right here in Denver, Colorado on East Colfax. Artist Austin Zucchini-Fowler painted a boxing nurse with angel wings to honor the healthcare workers battling the virus.
We were also incredibly inspired by what travel photographer Erin Sullivan created in her own house with her project #OurGreatIndoors – constructing stunning miniature landscapes made from everyday household items.
Featured Artists Through YouTube
One of the art galleries we work with – Walker Fine Art Gallery – started a YouTube channel during the pandemic to get messages out about art and artists that she represents. We love art and the emotions it helps to convey in a home or space, so this was an especially wonderful thing be born from this difficult period.
Graze & Provisions Artisan Charcuterie
@grazeandprovisions features artisan charcuterie and grazing boards. With COVID-19, this creator was feeling very busy and stressed at work. Her industry picked up while the rest of the world was slowing down, so she found an outlet through beautiful food. Charcuterie boards are also a creative way for quarantined people to still gather and enjoy a “dining” experience within their own home. Her boards are like art – delicious art.
“Hearts in the Window”, “A World of Hearts”, etc.
Around the globe, several movements popped up to encourage people – especially children – to put hearts in their windows. It was a beautiful way to “Spread the Love, Not the Germs,” and Inside Stories by Duet Design Group designer Rachel Vanek and her kiddos actually participated. “It really helped us! It gave us something bright and beautiful to look at each day (and people driving/walking by loved it as well!). We put the hearts up March 28th and just took them down last weekend. It was a beautiful scene that came out of the craziness.”
3D Artist Paul Milinski’s Retro Futuristic Dreamscapes
Insanely inspiring and calming. Talk about much needed escapism!
Artist: Paul Milinski
Hamilton on Zoom
Actor John Krasinski launched the ‘Some Good News’ program, and featured the cast of Hamilton in a Zoom performance for a little girl whose performance was cancelled. Just try to watch this without tearing up!
Manyang Reath Kher, former Sudanese refugee now living in the U.S. created a comic style piece to illustrate how he made it through his moment of deepest despair. A lesson in resilience for everyone during this difficult time.
Credit: Manyang Reath Kher
Masks have appeared in art in cheeky and clever ways since the start of the pandemic. We love the humor and subversive attitude conveyed in these pieces.
Ballet dancers around the world filmed themselves performing haunting choreography in their bathtubs to the main theme from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. It was another innovative piece born from the need to social distance.