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Old 08-18-2006, 07:52 PM
cooljamesx1 cooljamesx1 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ft collins, CO
Posts: 633
Re: Abstract Art vs Realism

Let's break down the walls.

What is real or abstract?

When you go to draw or represent something real, you choose a subject that is beautiful. Something that transcends feeling and emotion. Realism art has value because it is beautiful, not just because it is realistic. A truly talented realism artist must not only be able to be accurate but must also understand what it is about their subject that is beautiful.

Take caricatures of politicians for example. The artists that draw caricatures are never what we would call "realistic", but when you see the drawing, you know exactly who it is. These artists can understand what defines a person's appearance. They know how you recognize someone, and they exaggerate those features.

In the same way, good realistic art comes from an artist that understands the beauty. Take cpr dummies for instance. I have seen some cpr dummies that have extremely realistic faces and torsos. But we wouldn't call them art.

With this in mind, the line between realism and abstract art seems to fade. Say, for example, you see a rock or a tree with a shape that seems powerful or graceful. If you go back to the studio and recreate that feeling you got from the object by utilizing its shape, but your product doesn't really look like the object, is that abstract or realism? You may not have represented the leaves of the tree or the cracks in the rock, but if your product can capture the feeling of the original through shape or proportion, what does it matter?

Art is not about technical difficulty, it's about inspiration. It's about capturing a feeling. The fact is that some things, like human hands and faces, and entire bodies, for that matter are very expressive in the eyes of humans, and they may take excruciating detail in order to put feeling into. But the focus here is not on the detail; It is the feeling created by the detail.

It is hard to tell why abstract shapes show feeling, but it is my belief that abstract forms convey emotion by reminding us of something. There was an abstract piece I recently saw that was very narrow at the base and flared outward at the top and had a slightly spiraled shape as it went up. The piece did not look like anything, but for me, it reminded me or a dancer and it captured the grace and smooth movement that you think of when you think of dancers.

Try not to get caught up in labels. Go for feeling, not accuracy.
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