Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Episode 76: Photorealism

Photorealism is the term used for the art movement in the United States during the Late 1960’s and 1970’s. Louis Meisel coined the term Photorealism in 1969. It is also referred to as Super-Realism, New Realism, Sharp Focus Realism, or Hyper Realism.

Photorealistic artists use photographs to creating paintings that look extremely realistic. 

They would take an actual photograph, project it onto a canvas and then paint the image. They did this to create and exact replica of the original photograph. Painting in this style requires extreme skill and discipline and attention to detail.

Pop Art and Photorealism were reactions to the abundant use of photography in the media which, they felt, was diminishing the importance of imagery in art.

Like Pop Artists, photrealists use everyday commercial objects and scenes, like cars, motorcycles, shops and signage to break down the hierarchies of subject matter. Because of this, photorealistic paintings tend to be very impersonal and detached. It’s a way to be completely impartial to a scene, which appealed to the Minimalist and sometimes offended the Modern Abstract painters and critics of the time.
Photorealism cannot exist without the use of a photograph.

Audrey Flack, Marilyn (Vanitas), 1977
Audrey Flack’s works are all about the fleeting nature of material things.

Chuck Close, Big Self-Portrait, 1968
This up ‘close’ and personal image of Chuck Close is not a photo, but actually one of his painted works.
Ralph Goings, Ralph’s Diner, 1981-82
Feel like you just walked back in time to a 70’s diner? You may just be looking at one of Ralph Goings diner paintings.

Robert Bechtle, ’61 Pontiac, 1968–69
No this is not an old photograph you found in a shoe box in your mom’s closet, it is another Robert Bechtle’s photorealistic paintings.

Richard Estes - reflective, clean, and inanimate city and geometric landscapes (Airbrush)
Check out the shadows and reflections in this piece, everything is portrayed to the T!

Charles Bell - large scale still lifes
If you are only going to paint mostly gumballs and marbles, you may as well be good at it. It is hard to get any more exact or precise than this. 

Don Eddy -cars and urban cityscapes

Anyone who is into awesome classic cars would love to have one of Don Eddy’s photorealistic paintings on their wall.

"Red Lightning"
Tom Blackwell - motorcycles (Airbrush)
Check out the lighting and highlights reflected off of the metal on this sweet ride. Looks real enough to hop on and cruise down to one of Ralph Goings diner scenes.

Come back next Wednesday to learn about Salvador Dali with Jo and Chloe!

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