|Classical Painting Atelier, a Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice, by Juliette Aristides|
Watson-Guptill Publications, 2008
770 Broadway, NY, NY 10003
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n conjunction with her first book, Classical Drawing Atelier, Ms. Aristides has created not only a major work of technical knowledge, historical enlightenment and visual beauty, but has also made a definitive case in proving that realism in art, when used to communicate shared human experience and beauty, is the highest form of visual art. Aristides Introduction to Classical Painting Atelier will make even die-hard modernists and devotees of abstract art stop and think. Her book itself is powerful enough to change minds. The rational art lover, even if he or she remains convinced of the "greatness" of abstract art, will come to see that realism, by its very nature, is rich with meaning and purpose and is completely relevant in today's art world. And if they pride themselves on being free-thinking and democratic, they will see that realism has as much a right to be championed as modernism. Indeed, the realism of today is modern...so let the artist choose his or her tools freely...no limits.|
Aristides shows us that if abstract art reflects our angst as a culture, than realism offers us hope. Her arguments are solid, based on long studied historical and philosophical materials, which she uses freely and interweaves gracefully, not only in the Introduction, but through out the book. This second book, argues even more impressively, the role of realism as our finest form of visual art, because it is written with a maturity and confidence that comes from a continued willingness to see and hear and read all arguments and to then find over and over again that realism satisfies us humans in way that other forms cannot.
Realism is no more out-dated than the five senses themselves. Aristides has determined this after years of studying our present culture and the historical events that have brought culture to where it is today...often a very bleak, dark and impersonal place...stylish as that may be. She synthesizes all data as a philosopher, writer, painter and audience of the arts herself...and most importantly as an intelligent and caring human being. This last skill, probably the most attacked by modernist philosophy, because it seems sentimental, is indeed the most important determiner. Because isn't that why we humans make art...to reach out to other humans? But the best way for me to show you the importance of this book and why it should be read, seen and talked about, is in the book itself.