Futurism marked a breaking point with earlier artistic traditions. Futurists tried to modify the reality in which they lived, to involve audiences in their artistic process. They wanted to change the world, to rebuild it.
Any separation between the artist and the audience began to fade away. That’s why they were interested in embracing popular media and new technologies to communicate their ideas. Since its beginning, Futurism was very close to the world of advertising and, like a business, promoted its product to a wide audience. For this reason, they introduced the use of the manifesto as a public means to advertise its artistic philosophy.
In order to achieve this purpose, Marinetti sought the support of artists such as Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini, and Carlo Carrà, who believed that Marinetti’s ideas could be translated into a modern, figurative art, especially interested in speed and movement as the main innovation of modernity.
The Futurists loved speed, noise, machines, pollution, and cities: there was no place for nature; they celebrated their own era as speedy, dissonant, unfaithful, asymmetrical and imbalanced, and the same features can be used to describe their artworks.
They introduced the idea of destruction as a form of creation. For instance, Severini was typical in his interest in Divisionism, which involved breaking down light and color into a series of dots and stripes, and fracturing the picture plane into segments to achieve an ambiguous sense of depth. By requiring the viewer to combine the colors optically instead of physically mixing pigments, he, as a divisionist, believed he could achieve the maximum luminosity scientifically possible.
Futurists praised artifice over nature and sophistication over simplicity. They explored every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, poetry, theater, music, architecture and even gastronomy and one of the common themes running throughout their works is the representation of the technological triumph of humanity over nature.