Monday, April 13, 2020

Tom Blackwell, 1938-2020

Louis Meisel Gallery reports that Tom Blackwell has died at age 82 of complications of coronavirus. Blackwell was one of the pioneers of photorealism.

Tom Blackwell, 'HOWDY BEEF 'N BURGER' 1974
oil on canvas, 60½ x 84 in. (153.6 x 213.4 cm.)
Blackwell said that he had to overcome the feeling that working from photographs was somehow "cheating," When he shot his reference photos outdoors, he noted that "people are often disconcerted by someone who goes about photographing ordinary things with such intensity when there is apparently nothing worthy of being photographed. It makes them suspicious."

He was fascinated by the way photography interpreted reality. "We are so inundated with photographs in one form or another—movies, TV, newspapers, etc. that what a camera does to reality has become a kind of reality itself. This photographic vocabulary is very much a part of my painting."
Quote comes from the classic book on Photorealism written by Louis Meisel.


Susan Krzywicki said...


CerverGirl said...

Condolences to family and friends.
Beautiful work; I’m captivated by the blue sky reflection on the motorcycle wheel/hub.

Roca said...

I find it interesting that most laypeople (non-artists, commonfolk) think that photorealism is the ONLY thing that's "really" art. While many in the art world (critics, artists, teachers) feel that it absolutely is NOT art and only apes a photograph. I think that it is both an art and a craft, with a high degree of technical precision that takes years of practice and refinement and is unfairly looked down on by many art snobs. Remember, Shakespeare was "low" art in his day.