Friday, March 19, 2010

Revolution That Came

Volume I, issue 1.

Revolution is raging in the land. There was no name worthy of it until now. Yet here it is: “NOVOREALISM."
It is a description of current and present, widely spread artistic movement functioning as a set of specific tools, philosophy and practice. As any major art movement in history - it is a common visual language based on a common worldview. As any language, it has its own rules – without knowing them you can still appreciate the music of the language but without comprehending its true meaning.

Yet, it is enormously democratic language. Realism is democratic in its understanding by being elitarian in its practice. That makes it direct opposite to modernist mode in art, which is democratic in execution, but pointedly and exclusively elitarian in its understanding that requires the authority of an “interpreter”. In modernist visuals the sacred cultural function is placed squarely within an “interpreter” or middle man, giving him power over both – artist and audience, creating inherently “oligarchic” system. In Realism – the sacred function placed firmly within an ARTIST and within the level of her or his abilities as a distinction between good and bad is quite clear to the audience in principle. Obvious populist pitfalls aside the primal difference lie within this self-evident nature.

We are witnessing the potent rise of “democratic” perception over “oligarchic” upon which the entire system of current art establishment is built. Therefore NOVOREALISM is inherently REVOLUTIONARY movement of our day, radically altering the function of the status quo.

NOVOREALISM is not a retrovert vision by any stretch of imagination. It is a forward-looking cultural thrust that chooses to stare in the eyes of reality and to reflect it in various forms. It is based on a civilization-long combined experience, knowledge and practice in understanding of human’s abilities to perceive the visual world. Its advance manifests the passage of techno-fascination in culture as rapid development and wide decimation of high technologies turning what used to be an act of “prime possession” into an endless and routine update of discardable household items. Their use became necessary if annoying. Nothing less, nothing more.

NOVOREALISM reflects a new-found fascination with the pinnacles of human’s own capabilities. The ultimate fascination with the most advanced and sophisticated system known to mankind – the human itself. NOVOREALISM is a hyper-humanistic movement at the age of disturbingly wide technological dependency. It is a defining edge in a cultural thrust of today.

Advance of Novorealism reflects the rising awareness of downsides to rapid modernization in our world designed for infinite consumption. As such it is a tool of human self-preservation.

NOVOREALISM is deeply rooted within sanctification of natural world under all out assault of modern consumerist society. In this way, much like important art movements of the past, it is an early reflection of the shifts in priorities for the society at large.

NOVOREALISM is a firm, essential and significant part of contemporary process in ART; it is a firm, essential and significant part in the ART of the FUTURE.

As a revolutionary movement why is it “altering” and not “changing” the status quo? It is because the entire cultural premise upon which the art world exists today has shifted.
NOVOREALISM is not striving for totalitarian aesthetic domination as every major /as opposite to local/ Art movement of the past did. Not only do we recognize, but we thrive on the new reality that there is no single, “one and only righteous” aesthetics of the day any longer. This new reality makes our existence possible. We collectively entered an inherently democratic aesthetically multi-polar world. This is the reality that will have to be inevitably realized by any institutional voice claiming credibility in observing objectively the actually occurring, contemporary shifts in today’s ART.

“CONTEMPORARY” itself, as a linguistic asset, cannot be used any longer as definition of any specific aesthetics, but only as a reflection of any relevant cultural process in present. Anything else shall be considered an improper “privatization” by vested financial interests of an ultimate public domain – our common language and an expression of a publicly inappropriate statement of cultural prejudice.

“CONTEMPORARY” by definition cannot be stack in the past. Calling Rothko and Warhol “contemporary” with all due appreciation of their historic significance is at present preposterous. They are dead.

Yet, this very multi-polarity is perhaps the single most important factor of our moment within cultural infinity, reflecting most significant change in our fundamental perceptions.

There is no single collectively righteous doctrine that somehow makes any of its participants automatically better than the rest; there are only individually righteous creators across the aesthetic board. Not recognizing that is self-serving act of cultural, not professional, exceptionalism, which is entirely inappropriate within our modern society. In this sense NOVOREALISM is an inherently modern movement.

There are plenty of hacks under any banners. We detest Kinkade as much as any modern museum curator does, may be even more so as it is much more personal for us. We cannot be blamed for his or for his kind’s commercialist sins just as much as true inner-city rebellious pushers of the medium cannot be blamed for super-commercialist hacks of Koons variety. Koons is a Kinkade of the official establishment.

Much the same, under any banner there are plenty of good middle ground participants and there are few “odd balls” sticking out by sticking stubbornly to what they truly believe in and by excelling in what they do way above and beyond average.

“Modernism” has lost its exclusivity on a cultural plane, not its place in it all together as both reflect the need for a sustainable balance within modernization - preservation - development equilibrium.

NOVOREALISM reflecting our contemporary reality – a major current aesthetic movement not claiming its cultural exclusivity and superiority, on the “ashes of the old”, but simply stating its being.

We, the Artists and Practitioners of our Religion, can and shall convey the rules of our language, its heritage and its future. We shall do it with all we’ve got, as ART does not stand half-measures or safe harbors. We shall do it in our thought, our word and our deed, the last one being the only thing that ultimately stands. We, the Artists of NOVOREALISM, shall paint first and foremost, worthy of an incredible place in history we find ourselves NOW.

Let’s wage the Revolution, lets wage True and Great to our very own measure ART!

Here is what I mean:

"Homebound" oil on canvas 60" x 72" by Steven Assael

"Maasai Woman" oil on canvas 36" X 24" by Scott Burdick

“Anna and Arturo” oil on canvas 42” X 60” by Jacob Collins

"Fragile Rose" Oil 44" x 68" by Rose Frantzen

"Man in Limited Palette" oil 12" x 12" by Ignat Ignatov

"The Last Sticks" oil on canvas 32" x 55" by Michael Klein

"Danielle" oil on canvas 40” X 30” by Jeremy Lipking

The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy: September 11, 2001 96” X 216” oil on canvas by Graydon Parrish

“Moonlight Dance” oil on canvas by Tony Pro

“The Persistent Dream of Youth” oil on canvas 120 x 72 inches by Christopher Pugliese

“Photographer. Lemuel” oil on canvas 60” X 36” by Alexey Steele


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I have been calling this a movement for years now, but not nearly so eloquently. Thank you Alexey.. Viva Revolution!

  3. I am all for the appreciation of "Realism", but the cynic in me is not convinced that this is a new art movement, nor the renaming of an existing art movement.
    There has to be more to claiming a new art movement than a couple of guys coming up with a name and marketing it? Otherwise this will appear as merely self-promotion & a blatant PR branding exercise.

    More power to "Realism" I say, but be careful what you wish for.

  4. This revolution is subtle but evident and growing stronger which is why the mainstream media needs to know about it. I see it as re-assertion of realism's rightful place in the evolution of art. Of our culture's appreciation for simpler times. When 'finely crafted' was revered and admired. You and your crew are brilliant and to be commended for defining a movement, that until now, was silently asserting itself.

  5. It's certainly an oil-painting movement, and thus receives my vote. (Acrylic artists have been doing this as hyper-realism for years). Too true about Kincade--sentimentalism in art is always detestable I would say, (however, Harold Speed I believe said it well first). What is troubling, as always, is how many desire to work toward this ideal, but are shackled by three very partnered chains: 1. The places to gain such knowledge are few, far between, and costly (playing to elitism). 2. Those who have this training, too often do not wish to train others--though that's their prerogative but continues to smack of self-interest (egalitarianism). 3. Those in the group aforementioned through pictures are part of a rock-star elite in which most, (but not all), have had families working as professional artists who introduce them at an early age to painting--which is great of course but render them a close-knit group to the point of noble (exclusivity). So, do these comments prove the argument of this blog? Or prove the contrarian arguments against it?

  6. I totally agree with JT. Keep up the good work.

  7. I have some appreciation for realism because it shows good technique and craftmanship. But I don't think it's a good roadmap for the future of art. Realism has never been progressive, and this is shown from Raphael to modern realists.

    So I see a reactionary attitude here, not a great new art movement. And this is very inappropiate for a group that claims to show the way for art.

    We can see how the great painters of history as Michelangelo to Picasso have redefined all the limits imposed by orthodoxy. While the conservatives have always discredited anything new or different since the Renaissance.

  8. this is a great supplement to this movement please read it :

  9. To all overwhelming well-wishers I say thank you for your outpouring of support, for your generosity of encouragement and excitement of being part of it!!!

    We have an extraordinary journey of changing the function of Art World as we know it ahead… affecting the Art of the first half of the 21st century… creating Art that will reflect the new realities of our so deeply beautiful by its nature, yet so thoroughly corrupt by unchecked power world… Art that will reflect tectonic shifts in our collective, permanently flowing and transforming culture… Art that will help society to set priorities other than glorified rampant greed… Art as newly emerging 5th power capable of carrying a load of an indispensable institution within our eroding constitutional system of checks and balances… Art as a vital force in a society facing storm….

    All that simply by doing what we do, the best we ever can.

    This is what NOVOREALISM is all about….and its just making its first baby steps…just wait till it runs in Olympics!

    There will be many other wonderful forms of expression defining the landscape of future Art World, perhaps and hopefully sharing the same objectives alone with us, but doing it an entirely different, may be even opposite way… power and brotherly hi-five to you. We’ll give you all our support.

    To few naysayers, what revolution be without’em… well… I laugh /and boooy I can do that/… as its funny to stand in front of the steaming ahead train of Art, screaming “stop”. It’s a free country, you know how to do it “right” - go do it. Do something positive. I do it the way I paint – giving it all I got.

    Brush has the final word that stays – we paint!!!

  10. Whose Brush, Alexey? Whose language?

    I wish you all a safe journey on your own personal "train of art". I hope the food and drink are good, and the painting is grand.

    As for me, I'm taking the jet.

  11. Thank you Alexey, The biggest challenge in art today may be in New York, This is the beginning of a challenge to the modern art domination that exists in the city and other cities that blindly follow.
    The aim is not to seek to eliminate or dismiss modern art but to have this era include the movement of new realists. In many ways, today's masters of NOVOREALISM are advancing their art beyond the capacity of many old masters . This comes from a variety of factors and is NOT in spite of the modernist movement but because of IT. The beauty of art is that it constantly evolves layering its influences upon each generation to come.
    NOVOREALISM is a valid art era unto itself and not a REPEAT of an old movement. Today's realism looks different because it is different. IT comes from a different point of view, different materials and different technology that gives us unparalleled access to subject matter This is about our experience in daily life. Novorealism is about a decision to pursue a certain aesthetic in art. It means extracting poetic content within the elements are painted and arranged in this intangible pursuit is perhaps more "abstract" than anything in Modern art today. This is OUR realism and it fuses a broad range of influences beyond what the OLD Masters could have known.
    LOVE your energy, hope and passion for all of it and I will see you at PSOA!
    KGavin Brooks

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  13. I'm very hopeful for this movement (and wish i still lived in LA to be a part of it). I believe that it would take time for the rest of the country and world to catch up. But Realism is coming back... Thank God! Thanks to the masterful work of Lipking, Pugliese, Klein, Ferri, Ignatov and a few others that will hopefully stake a claim in this modern art world. Can't wait!

  14. Well, I've been around painting for a while now. I have to say, I do appreciate any support for realism because it supports the foundations of an art education and helps those artists make more informed choices about where to go with their art later. However, I'm not sure this is really a revolution. I mean, you guys have galleries, have shows, sell your work often times (from what I can tell), there are videos which people buy in mass numbers from all sorts of painters, books, magazines, facebook pages - when I go out plein air painting, 30-40 people show up get what I mean here?

    When I think of revolution, I think of the under dog or the underground trying desperately to make a statement. I'm not sure that's the case with realists anymore. Unless I am mistaken - if so please elaborate. I mean, unless you are voicing that the critics should take realism more seriously - ???

    Sorry to be a devil's advocate. It's just that i'm not really seeing the revolution part.

  15. I see more marketing than revolution here. It is not as if realism and beauty took a holiday for many years and was suddenly recently rediscovered. I also watched the Roger Scruton video on this page, and I think he avoids showing some of the great work that was done in the last 60 years, like Hopper, Estes, Close, Wyeth, or Haring just to name a few.

    The work you are doing is wonderful, and I really enjoy looking at it. The art world is indeed a huge place.


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