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What is Photorealism anyway

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What is Photorealism anyway

Photorealism is the genre of painting bassd on making a painting from the use of a photograph. The term is primarily applied to paintings from the United States art movement that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

As a full-fledged art movement, Photorealism evolved from Pop Art and as a counter to Abstract Expressionism as well as Minimalist art movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s in the United States. Photorealists use a photograph or several photographs to create their work of art and it can be argued that the use of a camera and photographs is an acceptance of Modernism. However, the blatant admittance to the use of photographs in Photorealism was met with intense criticism when the movement began to gain momentum in the late 1960s, despite the fact that visual devices had been used since the fifteenth century to aid artists with their work.

The invention of photography in the nineteenth century had three effects on art: portrait and scenic artists were deemed inadequate to the photograph and many turned to photography as careers; within nineteenth and twentieth century art movements it is well documented that artists used the photograph as source material and as an aid—however, they went to great lengths to deny the fact fearing that their work would be misunderstood as imitations; and through the photograph’s invention artists were open to a great deal of new experimentation. Thus, the culmination of the invention of the photograph was a break in art’s history towards the challenge facing the artist – since the earliest known cave drawings – trying to replicate the scenes they viewed.

What is Photorealism anyway

By the time the Photorealists began producing their bodies of work the photograph had become the leading means of reproducing reality and abstraction was the focus of the art world Realism continued as an on-going art movement, even experiencing a reemergence in the 1930s, but by the 1950s modernist critics and Abstract Expressionism had all but minimalized realism as a serious art undertaking. Though Photorealists share some aspects of American realists, such as Edward Hopper, they tried to set themselves as much apart from traditional realists as they did Abstract Expressionists. Photorealists were much more influenced by the work of Pop artists and were reacting against Abstract Expressionism.
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