Letter to ARC

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Letter to ARC

From Fred Ross, ARC Chairman

Published before 2005


Many in the art establishment love to say that Realism has had its day, and that it is stale, passé, and that it has no where else to go. Everything that can be done already has been done.

To them I say:

Contemporary or timeless scenes about the human condition, about the emotionally charged moments in life, whether that life is being lived on a farm in Brittany in 1880, or a tenement in Brooklyn in 2004, or on a forward outpost on a space station near Alpha Centauri in 2251, people have their hopes, dreams, love, despair, compassion, disease, war, jealousy, religion, myths, gluttony, avarice, friendship, kindness, sadism, ugliness, charity, and beauty .... to mention just a few. These are timeless themes about humanity that are never stale. These are the core concepts, subjects and themes, about which all fine art is produced. It's all up to the ingenuity, creativity and skills of the artist, to compose compelling, well crafted, inspired works that hold up to the best of what has been done before.

Fine Realism can never be stale. Bad paintings are stale, and remain bad paintings no matter who made them or when they were painted. However, there is no end to the possibilities. There are potentially an infinite number of wholly original and masterfully poetic and magnificently beautiful compositions that are possible, and yet to be painted.

Furthermore, splotches and splatters of paint were already stale before the first such work had finished drying on the canvas.

-- Fred Ross, Chairman of the Art Renewal Center