Performance art has now been with us for a few decades or so and has rapidly become one of the most popular forms of modern art that there is. Of course different people have different ideas on what actually constitutes performance art, and perhaps the easiest way to explain it is when the artist becomes the actual art piece.

Performance art has little to do with performing arts, such as acting and theater. It is when you use your body to create art, using many forms to recreate your ideas. There is a tendency with performing artists to make their work really intense and heavy, but the great performance artists know how to create a balance to keep their audiences engaged. And some of the greatest performing artists around the world involve the whole audience so that the art is created together.

Why Choose Performance Art?

This is a sort of chicken and egg question, many performance artists do not choose to start with the premise that an idea for an art piece should be only expanded by performance art. It is more with taking an idea and then trying to express it in the best way possible for the audience to understand it. Performing artists can be inspired by just about anything, from politics to religion, but the complex part is making something that will interest other people. Performance art has one huge advantage to other art mediums and that the audience can be part of the whole thing, and this means depending how they interpret the idea the art piece may radically take another direction.

Some ideas just cannot be expressed in an image or a sculpture, they may need the interaction of an audience to complete the experience. In other words, performance art uses the audience as part of the very mechanism to unlock an idea and bring it to life. All art has different elements, and performance art is no different, but it is not about brushstrokes and colors. It is all about self, space, and of course time.

The Performance Artist

There is no performance art without the actual artist, and the performer’s influence is paramount on how the art will turn out. It matters greatly if the artist is black or white, males or female, the performers have to use their personal traits to bring the most out of their performance. As the old Vaudeville expression perfectly put it, If you’ve got it, flaunt it! So the artist should let their own individuality express the piece as best as it can, for instance, female artists would be far better performing an idea about beauty and how it affects their everyday lives in relation to the men they have to interact with.

The Performance Artist
The Performance Artist

Becoming a performance artist can take the route of classical training, such as attending drama or art school. This would be beneficial to movement and vocal expression and would instill the necessary qualities needed to become a successful performance artist.