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Archive for April, 2014

Realism is dead.

During the 1950’s and 60s, the CIA, with massive financial input from the super-rich such as Peggy Guggenheim, worked to destroy any vestige of realism in American and European art.

Courbet. The Stone Breakers

Courbet. The stone breakers.

Even today, Saatchi is promoting the grossest excesses of Damian Hirst and others, even opening the biggest gallery in Venice to push their anti realist, anti-worker, anti-beauty agenda. But they no longer have to worry.

Because realism has been killed off by artists. Realism has been destroyed by the new school of American photo-copyists who call themselves ‘realists’.

Their pretty, effete pictures are the enemy of realism, belonging more to the decorative or romantic schools, except for the fact that their work is also devoid of skill and vision, being copied from photographs projected onto their canvases.

Figure painting, still life, landscape and romantic painting are not realist paintings.

Realism is art with a political aspect. The style developed in 19th Century France, founded by artist such as Courbet and Millet and Daumier.

The best known example of realist art is “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo, dealing with the hardships of the poor and working classes in France.

It is exactly this political social aspect of realism that caused the American establishment to fear and to attack it. To achieve their goal they had to persuade the public that art was ‘difficult’, that mere citizens could not make value judgements on art, and that we all had to trust the critics, to shut up and to toe the party line.

As artists our task as simple. We must define our art correctly. Unless we are working for social justice, our work is ‘impressionist’, or ‘figurative’, or ‘naturalistic’, or ‘romantic’. Not realist.

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