A new wave of artistic style has come from the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy of Yaroslav Danylchenko via Pexels.com

One year ago the future was uncertain. People could not leave their houses. They could not go to work. Even going to the grocery stores invoked potential dangerous outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic, which the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic in March 2020, has changed life the way we know it and was perhaps one of the very few times the entire world was on the same page, experiencing the same things.

Like entertainment venues, movie theaters, and even retail stores at a point that became closed to the public, so did museums, art fairs, and other ways for artists to express their work. Now, one year later, we have learned to adapt to the changes using online platforms to bring these communities together. The Covid Art Museum, a virtual experience delivered solely through an Instagram account, shines a light on the art created during and inspired by the pandemic. Featuring a multitude of art forms from paintings to digital design to photography, the museum, which was born at the dawn of the pandemic, has accumulated 165 thousand followers and nearly 800 posts, all submitted by people across the world.

The account, which was created by Barcelona creatives Emma Calvo, Irene Llorca, and José Guerrero, emphasizes the world’s latest artistic movement: the art in times of quarantine. The museum has encouraged artists to put their creativity to work while staying at home. Just about anyone can submit their artwork to be featured through a link on their page and by using #CovidArtMuseum on their own posts.

The featured pieces are nothing short of relatable. Some use humor. Some are emotional. While others use raw, aesthetically pleasing visuals to capture the eye. The Covid Art Museum page allows viewers to hear from said artists themselves through their ARTS&CHATS videos – an interview series with select artists who have been exhibited on the page.

Since growing their following so much from merely one year ago, the Covid Art Museum has partnered with Ana Carolina Ralston as a co-curator for the Mostra Museu: Arte na Quarentena, or The Museum Exhibit – Art in Quarantine, where they will display over 200 works of multimedia art in the streets of São Paulo, Brazil, becoming the largest open-air exhibition in the city. A virtual gallery will also be displayed on the project’s channels as a way to integrate international engagement.

“The air that blew so much in 2020 also brought us the creativity to reinvent ourselves,” Ralston said. “Now, 2021 begins with a uniting of art around the world in a sensitive project that sews this sinuous plot that has created a starting point to our own transformation.”


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Going beyond the success of the Covid Art Museum, artists have increased their followers and even been featured in virtual exhibitions as a result of their COVID-19 inspired work. These artists are sure to help cure the pandemic blues.


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New York-based artist Lola Jiblazee created an entire series inspired by positive quarantine stories she asked her social media followers to send her. That series, TRUE WORLD STORY, which garnered its own online exhibition with The Untitled Space from July to October 2020, explores hope, love, and courage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gripless is an anonymous artist who began a series of COVID-19 related graphics in March 2020. The designs are largely influenced by popular culture, current events, and many include cartoon characters. Not-to-mention, the artist is a master of puns.

The Museum of the City of New York features both in person and online formats for their exhibition, New York Responds: The First Six Months, which began its run in December 2020 and will go through May 9, 2021. Covering the events from March 1 to Sept. 1, 2020, the gallery consists of objects, photographs, videos, and other artworks created by over 100 New Yorkers highlighting the COVID-19 pandemic, racial uprisings, and the overall response of New Yorkers as they fight for a better future.

Aside from those stuck at home creating art and the many exhibitions highlighting that, it has also been a coping mechanism for the heroes of the past year: healthcare workers – who have been at the frontlines of the pandemic since the first day. While no one can know for certain what it must have been like to be in their positions, those who poured their emotions into their art have allowed a small glimpse into that experience.

Art by Dr. Nancy Prendergast (left), Dr. Anu Gupta (center), and Dr. Saira Malik Rahman (right).

From various parts of the country healthcare workers and artists, Dr. Nancy Prendergast, Dr. Anu Gupta, and Dr. Saira Malik Rahman are pandemic heroes who have turned to art as a way to cope with the difficulties of the pandemic.

“The fear, the anxiety, the pain, the loss, the triumphs, the resilience, the strength, the resolve, the hope, the love,” Rahman said in an Instagram post. “I hope to paint on healing and joy and togetherness in the coming year. May we see better days soon.”

If nothing else, the art derived from the pandemic is one of the few things everyone on the planet can experience and nod their heads in agreement with. Whether it’s used for a good laugh, to provoke a memory, or simply as a mental vacation from reality, artists have yet again found a way to bring a community of struggling people together.


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