Photorealism- Why I like it
The name Photorealism has been used in reference to artists, like myself, whose work depends heavily on photographs. At times, they have projected images onto the canvas allowing replication with precision and accuracy. The exactness was often aided further by the use of an airbrush, which was originally designed to retouch photographs. The movement came about within the same period and context as Conceptual art, Pop Art, and Minimalism and expressed a strong interest in realism in art, over that of idealism and abstraction. Flourishing during the 1970s, Photorealism engages the viewer to an emotional tie within the images, many times very mechanical and involving objects. Many Photorealists adamantly insist that their works, which are laden with such mass and consumer culture icons as trucks, fast food restaurants, and mechanical toys, are not communicative of social criticism or commentary. Many of my work incorporates water and large amounts of vibrant color in order to communicate a life commentary of sorts.
To a degree not previously accomplished, Photorealism complicates the notion of realism by successfully mixing together that which is real with that which is unreal. While the image on the canvas is recognizable and carefully delineated to suggest that it is accurate, the artist based their work upon photographs rather than direct observation. Therefore, their canvases remain distanced from reality factually and metaphorically. At times, the actual work rather than the artist's words is our most useful guide. In this manner, there is the contrast between the reality and primacy of the word or text, over the visual within our society. Since the early 19th-century and the invention of photography, artists have used the camera as a tool in picture making; however, artists would never reveal in paint their dependency on photographs as to do so was seen as "cheating".
In contrast, Photorealists acknowledge the modern world's mass production and proliferation of photographs, and they do not deny their dependence on photographs. In fact, several artists including myself, attempt to capture the affects of photography. The photograph can portray an image very different than that of the eye, such as blurriness, multiple-viewpoints. We do this because we favor the aesthetic and look. Therefore, while the resulting image is realistic, it is simultaneously one-stage away from reality by its dependence on the reproduced image. Therefore, my work questions traditional artistic methods, as well as the differences between reality and artificiality.