Artists interpret the world in their own unique ways. Throughout art history, there have been many art movements but one of the most popular and beloved is Realism. In our current exhibit, we are spotlighting this powerful movement. Realism in the 19th century was about the overturning of traditional systems, of values and beliefs which is still relevant in our current trying times. Instead of following the strict rules that the academy had placed on how and what to paint, the father of Realism, Gustave Courbet, rejected that idea and painted subjects of everyday life and present events. Following in Courbet’s footsteps many artists started to stray away from history paintings and academic forms of painting.
Our three featured artists, Davis Morton, Ron Schwerin and Gavin Sewell, all have very distinct styles of their idea of Realism, ranging from subject matter to technique. On a more academic realism approach, Ron Schwerin is known for his realist naturalistic nude portraits and detailed still lives. Influenced by other paintings of women in art history, Schwerin brings a contemporary take by painting women more realistic and natural than those before him. The hazy soft subtleness of Davis Morton’s painting’s does not reflect reality itself, but his subconscious, memories, and dreams that blend and blur his idea of his reality. While it may seem that he is a Realist painter, it is a balance of realism, impressionism and surrealism that evokes a haunting sense of the past, present and future. Gavin Sewell’s experience of reality is quite different as he views the world with extremely low-vision focusing on the invisible and ambiguous. Working in a mixed media style with a deconstructive and contemporary method of Realism, Sewell is drawn to discarded found objects and revitalizes them in his works. From flags, to dollars bill, board games, nudes and a vast range of subject matters, Gavin’s style is a unique mixture of medium, dimension of content.