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© Seed Gallery New York

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in works of art. A theme can be defined as a broad idea or a message conveyed in an artwork, such as in performance art, or a sculpture, drawing painting, writing or a motion picture. In essence, every work of art has a theme, a message or a precept that birthed the concepts being communicated in the work.

Themes are usually implied rather than explicitly stated. While deep thematic content is not mandatory in creating an artwork, it suffices to say that every piece of art inherently projects some kind of outlook on life that can be taken as a theme, regardless of whether or not this is or was the intent of the artist.

A theme can also be viewed as a unifying topic, and it might be the subject of the work or the sole idea. An artist, educator, writer, gallery or museum can select a theme as a means of selecting different pieces of work from different artists in order to present them as a unified whole or a series of works. Identifying a common theme and arranging artwork according to that theme also makes it easy to create content for art programs, study art history and identify outstanding artists from different periods.



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