Why I tend to avoid photorealism

sketchbook page, Aug 2010

Photorealism is not a style, but the absence thereof.  Because I’ve liberated myself from literally transcribing every tone, shadow and plane like a laser-jet printer, and because I’m instead inventing rhythms and patterns to describe my subject, I’ve taken advantage of the medium.  A photorealistic approach, on the other hand, would try to imitate the look of a snapshot, and that strikes me as stylistically drab.  I hope I don’t come across as if I’m calling the grapes sour.  Perhaps a photorealistic drawing would be a sweet party trick or a worthy exercise for an art student, but once you frame it and put it out into the world, the technique doesn’t do the medium justice. Generally,  I can’t shake the feeling that the photorealistic draftsman or painter ought to have just clicked a photograph if he’s going to conceal rather than feature the process by which he created the work.

The Lesson: Always ask yourself, “have I chosen the most appropriate medium for this particular work?”

Why I tend to avoid photorealism

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