Abstract Realism? Realistic Abstract?

I’ve always been surprisingly interested in the photorealist paintings of Robert Bechtel. “Surprisingly” because usually I enjoy the boldness of Bishoff or the theatricality of Rembrandt.

Somehow Bechtel’s paintings of suburban backyards and 60’s era autos hit home with me. I thought it was the stories but I was surprised to hear what Bechtel values in his own works.

In a great episode of Spark, the SF Bay Area-based arts program on PBS, Bechtel says he things of each small segment of his canvas as an individual abstract painting that needs to be solved. Tiny abstract paintings? In a photorealst canvas?

Now this whole art thing is getting pretty interesting.

Last week, my mentor Marcy took this story to heart and really pushed me to make one of my signature cat paintings into a more-carefully thought-out abstract work. I’m still working on it. But I think it’s worth the effort. Even though the black cat is still blue and will never look like a photo.

I highly recommend the interview with Bechtel and some art commentators who know his work intimately. It’s here:

http://www.kqed.org/arts/programs/spark/profile.jsp?essid=4813

Enjoy.

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