The Tedious Process of Perfection: Inspiration Through Photorealism


Painting by Eloy Morales

<< That is a painting. Mesmerizing works of art…by Ryan Ulbrich

I’ve always been fascinated by photorealistic artwork. Immanuel Kant wrote long ago in Critique of Judgement that “art can be called fine art only if we are conscious that it is art, while yet it looks to us like nature.” No better artistic genre captures this claim better than photorealism. What you are about to witness in these videos are paintings. Yes, paintings. Yet they look exactly like photographs — the closest representation to the natural world around us — even though they are made of brushstrokes, not pixels.

There is not an ounce of abstraction in the works of Chuck Close, Eloy Morales, or Ralph Goings. And just imagine the process. Staring at an image for days and weeks on end, many of them portrait faces, and re-creating infinite details and features. This warrants an extreme amount of patience and concentration.  Commentary in one of the films reveals “…his work was always about making work and about how the work was made.”  The artist himself then remarks “I’m most aware while I am making something…I’m aware of the artificiality of the situation; that it’s paint, on a pigment, distributed across a flat surface. The fact that it ultimately stacks up to build an image which has any relation to reality is mystifying to me.”

So just as much as you admire these paintings, admire the process. Think about how process can improve your well-being, and how embracing process will turn menial tasks into small acts of awareness and relaxation. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating awe-inspiring art, or just washing your dishes, or ironing/folding your clothes, or driving your car.  You can do it, too.

Chuck Close

Eloy Morales

Ralph Goings

Does Art Inspire You? Check this out: 150,000 Photographs. Mind-Blowing, Time Lapse-Esque Beauty. 

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