Hello everyone! This week I wanted to delve into the style of art called Photorealism. This style requires the artist to study and observe a photograph and reproduce that photograph in another medium. This requires a lot of attention to detail to mimic the photograph as much as possible. I appreciate this style because of the attention to detail required by the artists to reproduce a photograph as realistically as possible.
One artists of this style whose work I appreciated is Audrey Flack in his work Marilyn, 1977. This composition contains a portrait of Marilyn Monroe with the portrait reflecting off a mirror on the left side of the canvas.This portion of the painting alone emulates Photorealism to the fullest extent. Flack also included a photograph of herself and her brother when they were children. The photograph appears dated yet in perfect condition. I appreciate the layout of this still life that Flack depicted because of its range. This specific work could also be considered a Vanita, which are symbolic works of art showing the transience of life and the certainty of death, with symbols of wealth and death. There are various fruits, whole and cut, there are candles with flames, there is costume jewelry laying over the objects. There is a lot going on in this composition, but that is why I appreciate it.
A composition I resonated with was Big Self-Portrait, Chuck Close, 1968. This is a portrait of the artist himself up close and personal with the viewer. The cigarette he is smoking appears to be burning and smoke is going about the space. I appreciate how rugged and not put together this portrait is. I appreciate how we as viewer are only given this much insight on the artists, we are unable to even know what his shoulders look like or have a height reference. I was lucky enough to be able to source an image with the artist, Chuck Close, next to this portrait. This side by side image helps the viewer better understand the artist and get a realization of just how large scale this portrait is. I appreciate the artists messy hair and the gaze he has in this portrait. It gives the sense that he is looking at and into the viewer, but he mind is off somewhere else.
Phillip Pearlstein’s Female Model on Eames Stool, 1978, was another composition I appreciated. The model is seated on a black leather stool, which has many divots and wrinkles giving the effect of it being weighed down by the model. Pearlstein created realistic wrinkles and curves on the model’s body and especially in the hands which signifies aging. Especially in the ankle of the model, there is such an attention to detail in regards to the twists of the skin and the outward protruding veins. The artists attention to detail is unmatched, the body feels lifelike in such a way that it weighs itself down in the painting. The shadows coming off the body onto the wall and floor also make the piece look more realistic in a natural setting. I appreciate that Pearlstein is promoting this faceless figure because, it allows you to admire the bodies form at rest.