Monday, 17 June 2013

PHOTOREALIST SPECIAL - The Original Photorealist Artists.

You can't have a photoreal blog without paying tribute to the original photorealist artists that help found the movement and some of their contemporaries; so here they are for you with a little bit of art history thrown in. Enjoy.
- Tom

A Brief History of PHOTOREALISM.

A few years after the end of the Second World War, the art movements Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art became all the rage. Artists such as Mark Tobey, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock painted huge canvases of squiggles and marks by flicking, throwing, dribbling and splashing paint onto the surface in what would initially seem random gestures. These works were a visual outward expression of the artist at the time of painting them, rather than an illustration of his feelings or of any subject matter. Pollock sometimes used bicycles to distribute the paint marks but preferred to use sticks!

Abstract Expressionist - Jackson Pollock

Watch: Jackson Pollock Documentary on youtube

Pop Art on the other hand, addressed the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertising. Creating works using everyday, mundane objects from our lives as subject matter. Artists such as David Hockney, Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol made pop art a recognised 'product' within our culture.

Watch: Roy Lichtenstein Documentary on youtube
Watch: Modern Masters - Andy Warhol on youtube

Pop Artist - Andy Warhol

These two movements brought about the emergence of photorealism in two very different and distinct ways; abstract expressionism was a controversial movement (as the abstract movement still is today) because of the 'alleged' lack of talent or artistic skill required to produce such an artwork. (If you have ever tried to paint an abstract piece, it's certainly not as easy as 'sloshing' paint anywhere on the surface). Photorealism tried to be the exact polar-opposite of the abstract expressionists and a spin off from the pop artists - a world comprised of everyday, mundane objects, sometimes deliberately void of emotion or artistic influence. A 'snapshot' of everyday life without any thrills or pazazz of things we take for granted.

The word Photorealism was coined by Louis K. Meisel in 1969 and appeared in print for the first time in 1970 in a Whitney Museum catalogue for the show "Twenty-two Realists." It is also sometimes labeled as Super-Realism, New Realism, Sharp Focus Realism, or Hyper-Realism. Louis K. Meisel, two years later, developed a five-point definition at the request of Stuart M. Speiser, who had commissioned a large collection of works by the Photorealists, which later developed into a traveling show known as 'Photo-Realism 1973: The Stuart M. Speiser Collection', which was donated to the Smithsonian in 1978 and is shown in several of its museums as well as traveling under the auspices of SITE. The definition for the ORIGINATORS was as follows:

1. The Photo-Realist uses the camera and photograph to gather information.
2. The Photo-Realist uses a mechanical or semimechanical means to transfer the information to the canvas.
3. The Photo-Realist must have the technical ability to make the finished work appear photographic.
4. The artist must have exhibited work as a Photo-Realist by 1972 to be considered one of the central Photo-Realists.
5. The artist must have devoted at least five years to the development and exhibition of Photo-Realist work.
[ref -]

Photorealism continues to be practiced today by many artists and has since evolved and influenced certain realist, contemporary photorealism and the hyperrealist movements. It has received a great boost in artist numbers choosing this genre in which to work in the last ten years, due to the emergence of the digital camera, affordable digital and opaque projectors and computers. Some of the tools photorealists use to facilitate the execution of their work. Without the photograph or slide, photorealism cannot exist.

Chuck Close

Audrey Flack

Ralph Goings

Robert Cottingham

Robert Bechtle

John Salt

Richard Estes

Ben Schonzeit

Ron Kleemann

Charles Bell

Malcolm Morley

Don Eddy

Tom Blackwell

Richard McLean

No comments:

Post a Comment