Monday, January 7, 2008

Why I Hate Photorealism

This picture was created by famous photo realist painter, Richard Estes.
In my opinion, photorealism is to art, what dictation is to literature.
It is nothing more than mindless copying. There is little 'art' involved in its creation. All you need is a camera, some basic ability in painting and knowledge of photo realist technique. Simply take your camera and shoot a picture. Develop it as a slide, project it on the canvas, trace the lines, start matching the colors and filling in the spaces. It is basically an advanced paint by numbers project.
As a photo realist, you don't have to make any decisions past pointing the camera at your subject and figuring out where to have the film developed. After that you just mindlessly copy an image that comes out of a camera.
You don't have to know your subject. You don't have to study, learn or feel the soul and spirit of nature. You are just one more step away from nature and the wisdom needed to truthfully render it's beauty. You barely need to look or use any wisdom or understanding. You are a machine that wastes time doing what a camera can do in an instant. Time that could have been spent doing something productive, like sitting the park feeding the pigeons.


Maya S. said...

I agree, and yet most public is fascinated by photorealistic renderings. It is pointless. There is nothing I dislike more than photographic drawing of a photo. Just go to Kinko's and xerox it. While brownsig art websites the works that get the highest ratings are the photorealistic ones, and even the realy bad ones. Art is dying.

Oh yes, there is one other thing I dislike in art: Kinkade

Anonymous said...

It had its place in art history. We can't forget that. In its own way it was saying many of the same things as pop art was when it was also relevant. Campbell's soup cans weren't art because of their technique, they were and are still art because they were challenging conceptions of art and culture. Photorealism now is mostly irrelevant though, as is a lot of abstract art these days because it's been done and is no longer surprising or challenging. We mustn't forget context in these discussions.

Jon Archibald said...

...especially sentimental stuff. It's what reinforces the conviction held by the "but I know what I like" crowd.