Photorealism

Photorealism is a trend of art which was born in the 1960’s in U.S.A. It was like an opposite of the abstract painting. In photorealism photograph is the starting point to a painting. The artist copies the photo as precisely as possible. The trend came to Europe in the early 1970’s.

In 1974, Ateneum the major museum of art in Finland arranged an ARS 74 exhibition. The motive of the exhibition was photo-realism and most of the paintings were based more or less accurately on a photograph. The only motive the artists had was surely not only to show their technical skills, there was also a political and social message in the paintings. I, however, was impressed by the admirable ability of many artists to create a painting which was just like its basis, the photograph. I wanted to try to do something like that too.

Back to the nature

Back to the nature, painting

The painting, Back to the nature, 1975 – 1976. I have tried to find the original paper photo and negative for comparison, but couldn’t find them.

So I chose as basis of my painting a photo that I had taken with my first 35 mm SLR camera. From the original 10 x 15 cm color photo I enlarged a black and white copy and made a grid over it. Using the corresponding but larger grid on cardboard I made the “Back to the Nature” painting with an airbrush and black Indian ink. Maybe there is some deeper message hidden in my painting too.

Gate
Another painting “Gate” which is based on my photo is a view from Uusikaupunki, a town in western Finland.

Photo

The photo

The original slide is missing at the moment but I have a scanned version which I have changed a bit in Photoshop. I had to close an open door which was in front of the gate and didn’t look good. A print from this version was the basis of this painting.

Gate 2002, the painting

The painting, Gate 2002, egg tempera.

The painting is made with egg tempera.

-MH