ZERO-MAN: Maximalism Through Oil Painting. Introduction. Chapter 12.


The challenge of an artist is to be fearless. Painting is a revelation of the soul. Exposing the personality of your experience. To find a new kind of reader, harkening the result of a social upheaval. That is based on love, affection, and exploring the unconscious.

Why are you doing this? ‘Cause I believe you have the power to change this world.

What is Art, but belief in a higher power. One that captures all the glowing essence of life, nature, and man. Art is for lovers, believers, and fools. The lives we choose cannot be reversed. When you step into the depths of an artist’s life, there is no turning back. You cannot unlearn what knowledge you acquire. Once the hunger appears in your heart, it will be a hunger that’s stronger than all their smart. A hunger for more. And for eternity you will change lives this way. Inspiring others to do the same. But most cannot. You must have an unchained heart of a jester. A captured soul for humanity. The reckoning of a gladiator. The voice of a lion. The fortitude of the mountain. The patience of a rock being transformed into sand on the beach.

In this last chapter I will not elaborate completely on the mountain of history for the subject of realism in art, as it is more than several books worth of writing. I will save that text for the next series. But I will touch on the outline of what is to come. The basis for my belief on art, especially realistic art, stems from the fact that artists write history. Furthermore, history is born from art, from imagery of the Bible or religious text, as well as the blueprint, menu, or diagram for all written histories. Therefor art is history, and thus politics and war are simply a discipline or a factor from the arts. All weapons, war machines and armor come from either sculpture or drawings first – before they were created into existence.

Representationalism is defined (in our dictionary) as:

[The practice or advocacy of representational art. Relating to or characterized by representation: representational democracy. Relating to or denoting art which aims to depict the physical appearance of things: the abstract and representational elements in the same picture. Contrasted with abstract.] The definition of Representational/ism begs more questions, definitions, and timeline.

  1. When did abstract, conceptual, or minimalistic art come into play?
  2. Minimalism was an art movement that began in the 1950s and 1960s. The movement is interpreted as a reaction against abstract expressionism and modernism. Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. This departure from accurate representation can be slight, partial, or complete.
  3. Abstract expressionism originated in the 1940s and 1950s. Leading figures were Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.
  4. Classical realism and Neorealism found their roots in the fifth-century BC with Thucydides’ classic account of the Peloponnesian War. 2,500 years later, Hans Morgenthau created his magnum opus in 1948, Politics Among Nations. Succeeded by the founding father of neorealism, Kenneth Waltz. Waltz’s attempt to develop systemic and scientific realism in his 1979 book Theory of International Politics divided this school of thought into two blocks: classical realism and neorealism.
  5. While realism in art is often used in the same contexts as naturalism, implying a concern to depict or describe accurately and objectively, it also suggests a deliberate rejection of conventionally beautiful or appropriate subjects in favor of sincerity and a focus on simple and unidealized treatment of contemporary life. Specifically, the term is applied to a late 19th century movement in French painting and literature represented by Gustave Courbet in the former and Balzac, Stendhal, and Flaubert in the latter.

Realism: noun

  1. His optimism was tinged with realism: PRAGMATISM, practicality, matter-of-factness, common sense, level-headedness, clear-sightedness.
  2. Both stories show life in a mining town with some degree of realism: AUTHENTICITY, fidelity, verisimilitude, truthfulness, faithfulness, naturalism; informal telling it like it is.

Representationalism is the most challenging disciplines for any painter. There are many disciplines we can recognize from within master painters works, such as Rembrandt, Michael Angelo, Leonardo DaVinci, John Currin, or Salvador Dali. All of whom have a firm handle on representative realism. This artistry takes years to become proficient in, and sometimes decades to master. Following the basic rules to any craft, it becomes easier to manipulate & transcend beyond the highly skilled into a realm of mystery.

Realism is an Art of science, not for everyone. Realism is simply a more refined discipline within the category of representationalism. Patients & unforgiving times come with any attempt to imitate life, In all ways. Real life provides the most meaningful imagery for artists to capture. From this dimension, paintings become windows—visions of futures & past. There are no limits to the amount of information or spiritual language introduced when looking through truly masterfully crafted images. Representationalism requires more disciplines to master than any other art form. That’s why this chapter is last. Not to go further into the technical aspects of the methods but to touch on the spiritual part of what people consider authentic. Most people think painting is fun and games, throwing paint onto the surface. Just sip & paint. Random & accidental actions don’t ever equate to any form of mastery. One becomes a profound painter only from calculated formulas and consistent practice. I’ve been at this for 40 years and continue learning and reaching farther and deeper down the rabbit hole.

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