Many people who want to get into art in some way, shape, or form get discouraged by how confusing some art-related terminology can be. No wonder some people think contemporary art, or even art in general, is pretentious. For example, when reading online blogs or literature about art, you will probably encounter the terms “mixed media art” and “multimedia art.” But what is the difference between them? Let’s try and figure that out together, and you will see that learning about art does not have to be complicated.
Mixed Media Art vs Multimedia Art: What Is the Difference?
On the one hand, mixed media usually applies to works of art combining several mediums. For example, a painting that was created with the use of both oils and acrylics can be considered a mixed media piece. Collage art is one of the most well-known examples of mixed media art; it appeared at the beginning of the 20th century and was popularized by Dadaists and Cubists.
On the other hand, multimedia art can also refer to something that does not fit into one genre or medium. There is, however, a significant difference between multimedia and mixed media art. While the latter refers to the practice of combining different visual mediums, the former goes way beyond that.
Multimedia artists not only mix different visual mediums but also often incorporate elements from other completely different forms of art, such as performance, sound, and text. Multimedia artwork has especially gained popularity with the development of technology. Most immersive art installations can be considered multimedia pieces because they often engage several human senses, such as sight, hearing, touch, and even taste and smell.
Today, a lot of museums and galleries adopt a multimedia approach when organizing their exhibition space because it allows them to make a show more interactive and accessible.
Multimedia and mixed media art are valid forms of creative expression. Both exist for a reason and are very popular in the contemporary artistic landscape. The majority of contemporary works of art can be considered mixed media or multimedia to some extent. In addition, multimedia is everywhere these days — not just in the art world, but in our daily lives as well.