why realism, why now ?
A search on the World Wide Web for the terms referring to realism in painting will provide tens of thousands of links to practitioners and afficianados alike. The pendulum has swung from the expressionistic emphasis of the mid/latter part of the 20th century to that of classical renderings in both style and theme.
In a world dominated by technology, people are seeking a reference point that is immediately comprehensible and universal to the human experience. Machines, which were supposed to replace humans in every task imaginable have failed miserably when it comes to the craft and art of fine arts creation. There is no digital equivalent to eminate the touch of the hand or the tactile experience of viewing paint on canvas. The pixel cannot duplicate the mastery of a skilled artisan in his/her use of materials.
Please do not confuse "Realism" with "Photo-Realism".
The latter is craft (at best), the former, a mastery of craft and human input
which combines to form fine art. It is the human interjection which deliniates
the two. The camera lens simply attempts to emulate human perception but falls
short in paralleling the complexity of vision capable by the human eye. The
camera lens is man-made, and while a technological accomplishment, it remains
inferior to the divine creation of the eye.
Our western society which seeks to establish equality in every realm, believes that everyone is good at something. It is folly to believe however that all people are artists or are capable of becoming artists. This statement is not intended to place artistic accomplishment above all others but to recognize such that some are athletically or scholastically gifted, so too are some individuals given a talent for visual expression. It is this special capacity of the human eye/mind/hand to render in a way no computer can replicate or to perceive as no camera lens can, which commands us to paint in a fashion which is the highest expression of the human experience...realism.