As we move into 2010 in the art world / by Jeannine Cook

Happy New Year to everyone! May 2010 be a wonderful year for all.

As I watched the New Year come in under a brilliant full moon shining over Palma de Mallorca, I could not help but think that this decade would probably be as full of radical changes in the art world as in all the other domains, be they financial, technological or environmental.

Each of us, as artists, is constantly trying to think of new and better ways to approach the creation of art. However, one of the most interesting - and metaphorically eloquent, perhaps - ways of creating art has been flowering in the United States and and further afield: the framed reproduction of your personal DNA. On sale on the Net, adorned with jewels or other items to your taste, the DNA picture seems to me to be emblematic of our lifestyle tastes of today. Good or bad - who knows? It is certainly a very personal piece of art that you can put on your walls.

I was looking at an example of this art in an illustration I saw in the Diario de Mallorca last week, and could not help thinking of Josef Albers and his use of colour theory.

Formulation Articulation I & II , 1972, Josef Albers (Image courtesy of Phillips)

Formulation Articulation I & II, 1972, Josef Albers (Image courtesy of Phillips)

Perhaps the DNA pictures could be allied to his sense of colour. The history of colour theory is enough to make any artist dizzy, but it does reward by study! Not only the history of the use of colour, but the history of paint pigments themselves make for the most fascinating reading. Having wandered into the world of pigments, artists often then get totally hooked on learning more of the dramatic stories behind the pigments' productions and discoveries. An enthralling book which I read when it came out in 2001 is Bright Earth. Art and the Invention of Color by Philip Ball, published by the University of Chicago Press. Having learned about pigments' histories, I had a far better appreciation not only of the paints I use when I am painting in watercolours, but every painting I view in a museum has an additional layer of interest as I look at the pigments the artist used.

I wonder if that will be said, ten years hence, of the DNA pictures that are increasingly adorning people's walls. Any bets on this aspect of the future art world?