Synthesis

Synthesis is considered by many to be the highest level of human thought. Beyond merely imitating something which already exists, it connects seemingly disparate components to form a new whole. The act isn't an easy one—it takes a certain kind of brilliance to merge mediums or to blend seemingly unconnected images into a new creation with its own significance—but when accomplished in art, it has the potential to shift how we consider art and the world around us in general.

American painter Jasper Johns built up the surface of his Three Flags' canvas with a blend of pigment and warm wax. Each brushstroke congealed as he worked creating a dimensional surface that compels viewers to look closely and examine a familiar motif anew. Barbara Kruger reclaimed vintage advertising imagery and existing photographs, overlaying them with bold messages that recontextualize their meaning entirely. Contemporary textile artist Faig Ahmed frequently draws on his own heritage and traditional weaving techniques to craft handwoven carpets, which he warps to appear as though glitched through a computer screen or pooling together, melting into a surrealist puddle.

Technology and the influx of images that it facilitates only serve to push how artists combine mediums. And the experimentation is rapidly gaining speed.