Realistic Minimalism – a new Genre?

November 5, 2009

…nay – not really. Nothing is really new under this sun – someone has somewhere used this “genre” at some time already but it would have been nice to have a first start. And you know my faible for definitions – so please do not take this too seriously  😉

As you know I am somehow fascinated by photorealistic and hyperrealistic painting and have written quite a few articles about painting from photos with interesting conversations with other people, the painters who represent these genres and what I think about this style of painting. You can check out the series here.

Here are some short definitions from Wikipedia:

Photorealism is the genre of painting based 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, early 1970s.

Hyperrealism is a genre of painting and sculpture resembling a high resolution photograph. Hyperrealism is a fully-fledged school of art and can be considered as an advancement of Photorealism by the methods used to create the resulting photorealistic paintings or sculptures. The term is primarily applied to an independent art movement and art style in the United States and Europe that has recently developed since the early 2000s. However, many Photorealists are also considered Hyperrealists.

I do not want to dig deeper now into these genres but go back to my new series. The new series is very exciting for me because it merely represents a new painting style. I was wondering in which genre this would fit and I came up with an idea such as Realistic Minimalism. What do you think about this? Astonishingly this term has not been used yet – at least not on the Internet – and at least not in the painting medium but rather in philosophical writing and here in a completely different context.

There is a painter I discovered shortly ago on another blog, who is talking about photorealistic minimalism in his work.  Nigel Cox, who’s delightful and phantastic work can be seen on his website says about the discovery of his painting style:

“I was captivated by how special people can be when removed from the crowd and how wonderful it is to observe them, alone, in this state. This idea developed in my mind over the coming months and emerged as paintings incorporating photorealistic people, who have been removed from busy City scenes and placed into minimalistic spaces and landscapes.
The above painting ‘A Quiet Moment’ was the first in this style and was the beginning of what I call ‘Photorealistic Minimalism’.”

Coincidently I had a similar idea some time ago. Only that my objects of interest were not people but my balcony pigeons which I am observing so often. Their stance and dignity, their postures, their look into an indefinite distance, far beyond the horizon. They spend so much time just looking and I wonder what they are watching or philosophizing about.

This inspired me to create paintings which represent the love for detail as well as an uncluttered canvas background representing an indefinite space.



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