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From Anonymous

Published before 2005


I find all of this confusing.

First of all, Hockney does not suggest anything about the creation of realistic sculpture using projections (as suggested by KH). Why? Because there is even less ‘proof’ of it than of the painting processes he suggests.

Secondly, it is the process of drawing (See Tony Ryder’s Book: http://www.tonyryder.com/a-book.htm), not knowledge of anatomy that counts. If anatomy were the whole ballgame (or the greater part thereof) then every MD would be a world-class artist.

I have stood in the major galleries and museums in NYC and Europe. I studied in 2 major realist schools. I am multi-lingual and have read many of the manuscripts (Ingres, in particular) of the great masters' notes which were never intended to be published. No evidence as far as I could see of projected images in either the paintings themselves nor in the private journals. None. Please explain that one to me - like I was a six year old.

Where did this technology go? If it was so great and so pervasive, why isn’t it taught (even in “secret”) in any of the major realist schools, ateliers, or academies of today that still teach techniques that reach well back to the Renaissance? We have cast drawing. We know how to grind pigments. Where is the projection part of the curriculum?

Photorealist art has a uniformity to its appearance. A painting of a photograph will always look just like that – a painting of a photograph. ‘Realist’ art is a misnomer. Western art had so many different schools and periods wherein the ‘look’ of the subject matter depicted was highly idiosyncratic and differed greatly from country to country, period to period, and even within the artists’ oeuvres themselves – the look of a youthful painting by Rubens is quite different from that of the mature artist. Since the proposal has mostly to do with the drawing process, how does one account for these differences?

Despite possible accusations of being called a “fool”, I wonder, concurrently, given the superiority of the technology available today, why is it that photorealist art (like Hockney’s) does not achieve the magnificence of that of any of the old masters?

Nobody on this forum has yet to address the fact that, though they are ensconced well off the radar in terms of mainstream art, many artists today can paint and draw as well as the old masters and do so directly from life – often in front of classes full of people. No smoke and ‘mirrors’. In light of Hockney’s arguments, this would be all but impossible. If nothing else, would somebody please explain this apparent contradiction one to me?

Thanks!
Anon, Unknown Location