Saturday, March 20, 2010

Realism, NOVOREALISM, new art movements and Desperate Romantics

Currenty on TV here is the BBC series DESPERATE ROMANTICS, the lusty tale of the rebellious, talented & charismatic artists that foundered the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.



But what does it take to claim a new art movement today?

Today's Desperate Romantics, Alexy Steele, Tony Pro and Jeremy Lipking think they know and have launched "NOVOREALISM". But is "NOVOREALISM" a new art movement or the result of unrestrained inflated egos in action?

Tony Pro in action.



What is "NOVOREALISM"?

NOVOREALISM according to Alexy Steele is the...
" Revolution that Came;
Revolution is raging in the land. There was no name worthy of it until now. Yet here it is: “NOVOREALISM."
It is a description of current and present, widely spread artistic movement functioning as a set of specific tools, philosophy and practice. As any major art movement in history - it is a common visual language based on a common worldview. As any language, it has its own rules – without knowing them you can still appreciate the music of the language but without comprehending its true meaning....."
to read the whole Manifesto Click here

Looking at the 3 main protagonists Pro, Lipking & Alexey....maybe they should've called themselves "THE INSTAMATICS" for their mainly simple point and shoot painting.........and leave the "revolutionary art" to greater minds.

A new art movement or self-promotion? Not that there is anything wrong with promoting oneself or one's artistic beliefs?

I see "NOVOREALISM" not as a new art movement, but as part of the recent trend of artists working with "realism" who are standing up and demanding to be noticed. A grouping of like minded artists to gain strength as a collective.

Another "realism" promoting event is Realist Revolution, a panel discussion on Friday night April 23rd 2010 4:00pm
 Hyatt Regency Reston, VA


Contemporary Art:
REALIST REVOLUTION
and
CRITICAL RELEVANCE
Is Main Stream Media Missing an Important Cultural Trend?

Premises: 
"There is an actually existing, wide-spread, multi-faceted Realist movement in
the Art world today. It is functioning as a set of specific tools,
philosophy and practice. As any major art movement in history - it is a
common visual language based on a common world view. 
This movement is current, relevant and forward - looking
. This movement is part of presently existing contemporary Art 
This movement is a reflection of an important aspect of our modern world - democratization of cultural plane.

"

Hopefully someone will document it so it can be seen by many.


Meanwhile, on March 14th Graydon Parrish gave a lecture at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and luckily the artist Jim Harris was there to video it.

Graydon's talk was titled; Technique as Influence: The painter's odyssey of craft and communication.
Although, it wasn't strictly a "realism" promoting event, it was a considered & articulate argument in favour excellence in technique mainly displayed in realist painting.

Here is Part 1 of 10 videos, all well worth a viewing.



Artists working with 'Realism" are beginning to group together, social networking sites like Facebook is a major conduit for this. Some form tight bonds, others loose associations, but one thing is certain, there is the beginnings of a push for wider recognition. I do believe it's important for "realist" groups to be inclusive, rather than exclusive. To be openminded towards the many and varied approaches artists take that can be seen as forms of "Realism".

Meanwhile, I'll do my small bit, here In The Real Art World to promote as wide a range of realist artists as possible and to be inclusive of both Contemporary artists and those who are more traditional in thier outlooks.

9 comments:

Kaylyn said...

This revolution attitude is interesting. I guess all of us who went to art school and were told that 'realism' isn't 'real art' are finally coming around to demanding equal time!

In reading the Novo. manifesto, I don't see the statement on 'tools and philosophy' or 'language' to be as evident as the writer intends. What I see in the works shown is, for the most part, somewhat idealized and romantic...maybe I'm not speaking the language.

I'm left wondering if this movement is revolutionary or reactionary.

I'm also curious how the Art Renewal Center fits into all of this. I find the philosophy espoused there a bit strident and messianic. Any one else find it offputting? Inspiring?

Mark Sheeky said...

There's been a definite trend towards visual realistm and craftsmanship and away from the "conceptual art" philosophy, both among artists and critics but I think it's not fair to call it a new movement, more a trend. A prefix of novo, neo or "new" to an existing art philosophy won't make it new.

Daniel said...

I can't help but be a bit cynical of this. The Impressionists did the same thing in their day, announcing themselves as a new "movement," to gain collective strength (the term "impressionism," however, was coined later). "Novorealism," however, seems to be an overly broad generalization. I'm not so sure there is a "common visual language based on a common world view" within representational practices, and there is plenty of realist art that I would not care to be associated with. Furthermore, I see very little "newness" in contemporary realism--most artists are still overly concerned with recovering the "lost" techniques of old masters.

lisagloria said...

The realist work that's been coming to the fore is amazing in its technique and depth. I'm with you on all points, Jim, and thanks for this blog. Looking forward to your posts.

Stefan Maguran said...

There's nothing wrong with self-promotion, I totally agree. No one will do it for them. Apart from you, Jim.

graydon said...

"I see very little "newness" in contemporary realism--most artists are still overly concerned with recovering the "lost" techniques of old masters."

This is exactly what the reaction is about. It goes to the very heart of what newness or novelty means. Perhaps it's a complete reversal. To ask this question may be missing the point of what is going on.

Moreover, novelty may in fact be a conceit of the 20th century in the way that other axioms mark the 19th, 18th and so on. Unquestioned rules of race, sex, equality and to a lesser extent style and propriety---ideas once etched in stone--bend, break and are discarded when better or more relevant ones arrive.

JT Harding said...

Only in America, can a Russian-born artist lead a US-based revolution. I don't think this is either reactionary or self-promotional. Who better to lead the new art movement than some of the leading realist today. As long as this movement is inclusive of all (good) realism executions, I'm on board.

Daniel said...

"This is exactly what the reaction is about. It goes to the very heart of what newness or novelty means. Perhaps it's a complete reversal. To ask this question may be missing the point of what is going on."

Perhaps "newness" was the wrong word to use. I didn't mean trivial novelty for its own sake, but progress. A furthering of our understanding of experience, both internal and external. What I was trying to say was that there seem to be many artists concerned with learning a craft in order to create a particular aesthetic, without evaluating the "unquestioned rules" their particular craft implies.

Michael Lynn Adams said...

"many artists concerned with learning a craft in order to create a particular aesthetic, without evaluating the "unquestioned rules" their particular craft implies."

You have it backwards Daniel. The implications of how art and humanity devolved during the 20th Century are pivotal to understanding the core of the realist movement. The craft reflects a new way of thinking about art's place in society, beauty, and the limits of human potential. I graduated from college in1972 and have waited nearly forty years for this revolution. It is an affirmation of all that I believe about art as vital part of human existence.

The craft of realism is only a part of the movement. It is not a revisiting of a romantic past. On the contrary, it is a reflection of a fundamental reaction to 20th century elitist art; contemporary humanities love affair with technology as a substitute for creativity; and 20th century’s culture of function over the fundamental human need for real, lasting beauty.

This reaction brings many challenges to artist to create work that is beautiful, accessible, intelligent, and reflective of and relevant to contemporary culture. Sure, not all artists hit the mark, but when they do the results are benefit us all.

There is also the challenge of simply working with ones hands with basic tools to create ever more beautiful work. I don't know about you, but I find great hope in potential for all humanity (not just in artists) when I see the wonderfully skillful and uplifting work of artists like Graydon, Lipking, Liberace, Klein, Kassan, et al.

So I say embrace the revolution of Novorealism or whatever history ends up calling it.