Happy Birthday: Audrey Flack
Audrey Flack is a modern painter, sculptor, and author born on May 30th.
She is credited as the first photorealist painter. Her paintings are in collections at several notable museums and her work has influenced impactful artists like Jeff Koons. Since the 1980's she has turned her attention to sculpture and is a professor and writer. I just purchased this book of hers which I'll review on the blog when I've finished it.
I was pretty excited to have a photorealist to research today because it's a genre of painting I haven't connected with. Now that I know some more, I can appreciate what they're about and why they matter.
These photorealistic pieces are counteracting the automatic and spontaneous painting that was really popular at the time. Instead of applying paint and observing where the paint goes these artists embrace traditional techniques of painting but with subject matters that are obviously contemporary. Often their subjects are toys, advertisements, fast food restaurants and other pop culture items. They also don't hide the fact that they're using photographs by embracing the blurring and light reflections that happen through a camera lens.
There is an instinct for realism, a powerful drive to reproduce oneself. The fascination of photorealistic paintings lies partly in their apparent replication of life, but these are not merely replications. These paintings are often out of life scale, varying from over life-size to under life-size, from brilliant, heightened color to pale, undertone hues. -Audrey Flack
"Art is a calling. Artists are not discovered in school. Artists do not just paint for themselves, and they don't simply paint for an audience. They paint because they have to. There is something within the artist that has to be expressed . Every creation reveals something more about the universe and about the artist." - Audrey Flack from Art & Soul Notes on Creating