As a long time fan of Photorealism (thanks again to my college art professors) it was thrilling to go to the Museum of Arts and Design and catch the current exhibit Richard Estes: Painting New York. Photorealism is a genre of art that includes painting in which an artist starts with a photograph and then attempts to reproduce the image as realistically as possible in another medium. As a leader of the Photorealist movement Estes creates works full of reflections, interesting angles, geometric shapes and hints of people in city scenes.
While exploring the exhibit, I found myself being jealous of the power of being a painter rather than a photographer. When I take a photograph I am watching the light and trying not to lose anything in the shadows or over expose details in bright areas while also noting people or objects within the frame that may distract from the final image. As a painter, Estes can take multiple frames and then pick and choose which elements to include, while perfecting the lighting, and using his imagination. His end results are stunning works with striking color and contrast in which the viewer is not distracted by messy details, but can still feel the hustle and bustle of the city scene being depicted. I could go on, but instead encourage you to learn more online, or even better go to New York to catch the exhibit before it closes on September 20th.
Since reflections are a key element in paintings by Estes, I want to share with you some of my reflections. As a photographer, if I want a clean final image, I do not opt for Photoshop. Instead, I move my feet to change my view, wait patiently for people or cars to move, climb on top of things and get in funny positions to capture photographs. That being said, use your imagination and come up with a great story behind one of these photographs!
As luck would have it, I was presented with a moment in the Museum of Arts and Design gallery that demanded I take a photograph. There were no people in the way, just the need for me to work fast with a wonderful camera. That camera being the one I had with me which is always the best camera. In this instance it was my cell phone! I have titled this photo, “Homage to Kennington and Estes.” Dale Kennington, is a favorite artist of mine who also has created powerful New American Realism works that use photography as a starting point. How I would love to see Kennington create a painting from this photo of a guard sleeping between two works by Estes!
Thanks for staying with me on this Camera Journey. Great things are ahead for 2015. To make sure you don’t miss out, go ahead and get your subscription to Covey Rise Magazine and stay tuned!