Amazing Insight Into Realism

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Amazing Insight Into Realism

From William Leung

Published before 2005


Mr. Fred Ross,

I just came across your website a few days ago and it is amazing!!! I also just read your piece "Why Realism?" and it speaks volumes. As an artist for over 30 years, I just could not understand how people could praise and value "modern abstract art" over and over again. It seemed as if non-representational art is able to garner more publicity and attention than traditional realism. I am glad to see there is a push back to traditional realism.

For years, I could not bring myself to watch the movie "My Kid Could Paint That." The dvd movie sat on my shelf for nearly 5 years. Just thinking about the movie made me sick to my stomach. How is it that a toddler barely out of diapers could sell paintings in the thousands when I can't even sell my first painting? I believe myself to be a decent artist, yet it seemed to me interest is much less compared to the "next big idea" in modern art.

I finally brought myself to watching the movie a couple of years ago and it was a tough experience. Albeit tough, watching it did bring light and show me that modern art is more about sensationalism and grand standing and less about the art. Am I wrong to say that many of the paintings that sell at prestigious art auctions are non-representational art or poorly painted realistic pieces that require the "history" or "backstory" in order to sell? And in almost every case, abstract and bad realism always seems to sell for more than good realism, which always baffles me.

Whatever the case, I am very happy to come across your website. Much thanks for the push back to good art and realism. The education from your website is sorely needed in the art world.

- William Leung

To read the "Why Realism?" speech on ARC, please click here.