Friday, June 4, 2010

Photo Realism, Really.

Pictures from top to bottom: Diego Gravinese, Ralph Goings

It's a painting, based on a photo. The painting is realistic. So is the photo, naturally. And aren't all photos realistic? Or just the ones trying to do realism? Are all paintings realistic, or just the ones based on photographs?

It's a genre I do not quite understand and that's why I think it is enticing! Let's think about it:

Photorealism the style of painting that is primarily based on using cameras, and subsequent photographs, to procure highly detailed, visible information. From these snapshots, the artist creates a painting creates a painting that is so hyper realistic that the eye believes, at first, that is could only be a photograph. But alas, Aha! It's NOT a photograph. In fact, it is highly detailed, almost pixelated art work. Photorealist painting cannot exist without the camera. It could not have been invented without this technology. Photorealism, usually, captures VERY mundane situations, forcing the audience to reexamine the situation from a new vantage point. It is almost like the artist gave us, new glasses, with a prescription that had never existed before he invented it. I like the idea of using a new technology to enhance an old art form. How else could something old become new again? Let us ponder; perhaps:
  • Using the structure of a wooden horse-and-buggy to pimp your new ride?
  • Hooking up an Mp3 player to a Jukebox? Reviving the old sockhop?
  • Using weird, new, moon minerals and mars rocks for sculpting
  • Knitting a spaceship?
  • ....Starrpoint, an avid art blogger, says: "Photorealistic paintings are more real that a photo. Photos, as good as they are, have a certain flatness, a shallow depth of field, and lack of detail, that the photorealistic paintings do not have. ... In most cases, they are more 'real' than real."

    What the heck is more 'real' than 'real'? Why not just take a photograph? Isn't the artist essentially re-capturing what has already been captured? Whatever it is, it is so postmodern it's practically a meta commentary on a commentary. So many layers, like a fucking Vidalia onion, it's SWEET!

    Now you know.

    Keren Rhymes/w Heron