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Realism Art Quotes

77 art quotes about Realism | Share this page of quotes about Realism on Facebook | Submit more Realism art quotes

Capturing every leaf on every tree is a time-consuming and, some would say, thankless task. (Anonymous)

It is far easier to debate about realistic painting than to paint one. (Igor Babailov)

Realist artists should join together in a worldwide effort... Sharing it with each other and teaching it - that is the key to the success and never-ending beauty and harmony of Realism. (Igor Babailov)

Art Education is as important for a realist artist as an Alphabet is to learn a language. (Igor Babailov)

It takes years for representational artists to develop their skills in mimicking the objects before their eyes. (Kenn Backhaus)

Hyperrealism is both Breathtaking, and Boring. I want to see the Artist's hand in the work of art. I want to see the essence and the spirit of the subject, and I want to see a celebration of the Medium in the work of art. (Janet Badger)

The realist painter is always treading a tightrope between two worlds – the conscious mind and its perception of reality. But are these really different worlds? And what exactly is reality? (Gwenneth Barth)

So-called 'realist' photography does not capture the 'what is.' Instead, it is preoccupied with what should not be, like the reality of suffering for example. (Jean Baudrillard)

One reason my paintings have become realistic has to do with my interest in what things really look like. (Robert Bechtle)

Photo-realistic painting is to impressionism what a ballroom waltz is to Argentine tango. Once you've done tango, the waltz seems stilted, controlled and oh so dull. Give me the passion, the sexiness and the bravura of the tango, thank you very much. (Brenda Behr)

realism, n. The art of depicting nature as it is seen by toads. The charm suffusing a landscape painted by a mole, or a story written by a measuring-worm. (Ambrose Bierce)

Why can't modernist or contemporary work co-exist with realism? There seems to be little tolerance on either side. (Linda Blondheim)

Every realistic picture represents a choice as to which features of reality should be given prominence; no painting ever captures the whole... (Alain de Botton)

I cannot seem to break the gossamer veil that lies between realism and abstraction and I am forced to search for meaning between the two states of consciousness. (John Cerlienco)

Hyperrealism is more about objectifying... how an object can be portrayed when it is seen through a camera's lens... all my paintings are about an object being viewed through human eyes. (Liu Dan)

Abstraction and realism work best together. (Ken Danby)

It is through realism that I try to call forth universal feelings... I look for subjects bathed in and sculpted by light. (Linda Kooluris Dobbs)

Wonderful brushwork, contrasts between thin and thick areas of paint and between opacity and transparency... are a huge part of the sensual delight of a painting, and viewers don't get this from photo-realism. (Michael Epp)

I'm aware of cliches and I'm aware of experiments that have been done and I'm aware of a kind of deadness to a lot of realism both in the language and in the structure of a book. (Jeffrey Eugenides)

The visionary is the only true realist. (Frederico Fellini)

There is an instinct for realism, a powerful drive to reproduce oneself. The fascination of photorealistic paintings lies partly in their apparent replication of life, but these are not merely replications. These paintings are often out of life scale, varying from over life-size to under life-size, from brilliant, heightened color to pale, undertone hues. (Audrey Flack)

I am not interest in showing that I can paint every hair on a person's head, but I would like the viewer to wonder how I painted it so realistically without painting every hair. (Bob Gerbracht)

Accurate drawing, accurate colour, is perhaps not the essential thing to aim at, because the reflection of reality in a mirror, if it could be caught, colour and all, would not be a picture at all, no more than a photograph. (Vincent van Gogh)

...a likeness different from the products of the God-fearing photographer. (Vincent van Gogh)

Representational painters: place your works in a larger context. Give your work not only breadth but breath. Do not 'copy' what you see outwardly but give it 'spirit.' (Josh Goldberg)

Don't be concerned with the visual reproduction of nature; do not be a slave to your eye. (George De Groat)

If you finish like a photograph, on the other hand, the picture has as much personality as a photograph. (Emile Gruppe)

I tend to like paintings and people the same... fun, lively and realistic. (Kathi Hobbs)

A young art that contains its passion in simple realism represents the new political thinking of our epoch. (Walter Horn)

It feels much better to me to think that an artist is working to show his appreciation of what already has been created than creating things himself. (E. J. Hughes)

-b.1824 d.1879...
You are to draw not reality, but the appearance of reality! (William Morris Hunt)

True realism, materialist realism lies in the search for the expression of forms faithful to their content. But there is no content detached from human interest. (Asger Jorn)

Caravaggio's hyper-realism, a magician's conjuring trick, I have come to regard as a perfect metaphor for great art, which declines to make obvious its deepest truths, leaving us to decipher them if we can. (Michael Kimmelman)

The contemporary art audience, having had a century of flotsam and jetsam flung at them, think that super-realism is miraculous stuff. (Sharon Knettell)

The honouring of specificity is no small job indeed. (James Fenwick Lansdowne)

Realism is fragile truth. (Brian M. LaSaga)

Realism is drawing with paint. (Brian M. LaSaga)

How misty, indistinct and abstract can I go and still have a landscape? (David Leffel)

Even a part of an object has value. A whole new realism resides in the way one envisages an object or one of its parts. (Fernand Leger)

I would rather create something that does not exist than pay homage to all the constraints of time, place, moment and specificity that realism dictates. (Lynda Lehmann)

Representational painting doesn't need a social or political subtext to be important or to be appreciated. (Jeremy Lipking)

I transformed myself in the zero of form and emerged from nothing to creation, that is, to Suprematism, to the new realism in painting - to non-objective creation. (Kasimir Malevich)

I can but don't want to paint realistically because exploring and constantly finding new truths, looking with 'artists' eyes on the world, seeing different realms of reality, is the exciting part of being creative. (Alfred Muma)

-Munch: In His Own Words...
Any number of holier-than-thou honorable realists walk around in the belief that they have accomplished something, simply because they tell you for the hundredth time that a field is green and a red-painted house is painted red. (Edvard Munch)

'Completely true to nature!' – what a lie: / How could nature ever be constrained into a picture? / The smallest bit of nature is infinite! / And so he paints what he likes about it. / And what does he like? He likes what he can paint! (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Sometimes I start in a very realistic fashion, and as I go on from one painting to another of the same kind, it becomes simplified until it can be nothing but abstraction. (Georgia O'Keeffe)

It is ironic that to achieve convincing realism, one must think in the most abstract of ways... To do otherwise is to fall into the trap of seeing only what is expected. (Janine Parsons)

The average artist, if he chooses, could render an exact drawing of what he sees. Artistic work not only allows but demands some deviation from form and line. Just how far this may go depends on the viewpoint of each painter. (Edgar A. Payne)

-1960's commitment to John Perrault's manifesto of the new realism...
'No stories; no allegories; no symbols. No hidden meanings; no obvious meanings. No philosophy, religion, or psychology. No jokes. No political content. No illustration. No fantasy or imagination; no dreams; no poetry.' (Philip Pearlstein)

I suggest that it is the honesty of the attempt to recreate the forms and spaces visually without artistic editing that is one of the hallmarks of realist painting. (Philip Pearlstein)

Realism seems not like an end in itself, but like a portal to something truly new. (Melanie Peter)

Realism is condemned by those artists whose poverty of technique does not permit them to express it. (Walter J. Phillips)

You have to start somewhere. You can always erase reality later on. (Pablo Picasso)

As opposed to photography, which can't make a mistake because of its mechanical nature, when an artist reproduces reality, people have a tendency to latch on to the least flaw which strikes them as being improbable. (Daniel Plante)

-on studying under Thomas Hart Benton at Manhattan's Art Students League...
He drove his kind of realism at me so hard I bounced right into non-objective painting. (Jackson Pollock)

If it's too real it loses the magic. (Alex Powers)

Every painter should be able to paint tight if for no other reason than to know, in their own mind, that what they are leaving out is by choice and not because it is expedient. (William F. Reese)

Art is not duplication in a projection, but a new created image embodied in a medium, derived from perhaps life experience but not photographing it. (Louis Arnaud Reid)

I firmly believe that a representational painting is only as strong as its abstract components. (Robert Reynolds)

I'm trying to paint a picture of what I have seen and what moved me, as well as I can. That's all. (Gerhard Richter)

-Shame...
Realism can break a writer's heart. (Salman Rushdie)

Realism has to be such high quality, you can't fake it. It's all hanging out there like the laundry. (Nelson Shanks)

I am stuck with my passion for the objective world, for the constantly shifting shades of meaning to the events of my life, to the states of being of the people I paint, and to the persistent need to get it right. (Burton Silverman)

The challenge of the realist artist is to reach beyond just a representation and convey the essence of the scene, to capture something of the mood and sense of the place. (Marion Starr)

Realism and abstractionism are not enemies. They eat out of the same dish, but their digestive systems are different. (Leo Stein)

Realism is a corruption of reality. (Wallace Stevens)

Unless photo-realistic paintings are extremely well composed, they are boring, because viewing them is such a passive exercise. (Darla Tagrin)

It is the special privilege of the fine artist to reveal immediate data with a clarity, intensity and purity that promotes them to a special degree of reality. (Alton S. Tobey)

Realism dies when it fails to go beyond imitation. (Calvin Tompkins)

Realistic work can be just as abstract as the 'abstract' work... It's just covered by camouflage. (Janet Toney)

I want realistic compositions, on closer examination, to fall apart into abstract elements... (Lenox H. Wallace)

Being a realistic artist, I don't create the things that inspire me; I recreate them to appear as I experienced them in the first place. (Ben Watson III)

It has been said that modern realism begins from the position that truth can be discovered by the individual through the senses. (Ian Watt)

Extreme realism may have limited expression because of the artist being overly concerned with copying detail. Extreme abstractionism may be little more than a giant doodle. I like to get qualities of each... (Frank Webb)

Three-haired brushes and painstaking rendering of detail is what keeps me involved and excited. (Lesley White)

Even though I'm a realist, I try to let the medium show and allow it a certain degree of freedom. (William C. Wright)

Interesting is when one can produce a picture that is pretty, but with undercurrents. The metaphor that comes to mind is in the poems of Robert Frost. (Jamie Wyeth)


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Last modified: April 17, 2014