Hyperrealism by Robert Bechtle

In connection with computergames the term “realistic graphics” is a blunt misnomer—seen from a philosophical, respectively epistemological vantage point. Computergame graphics are an instance of artistical depiction. Already for a long time there is a precise differentiation between “nature” and “reality” in fine art theory. A painting which as accurately as possible simulates what human beings—conditioned in, or by a given culture—visually percept within the outside world of physical things is not to be called “realistic,” but “naturalistic”, or “painted in a naturalistic style.”

The above picture is a clipping from a “hyperreal” oil painting by Robert Bechtle. Jos Stam explains:

The word “hyperrealism” is used in the art world to denote the activity of a group of artists who made paintings that “look just like photographs”. This all happened in the late sixties, early seventies. And one can imagine the reaction of the populace and especially art critics, who were just used to the fact the works of Jackson Pollock could be called “masterpieces”. […] The word “hyppereal” is also used by contemporary thinkers such as Umberto Eco and Jean Baudrillard to describe Southern California. Of course Los Angeles can be a bit of a shock when you are used to living in an old european city such as Bologna or Paris.

The next blunt misnomer, you say? Concepts generated without order and method in the analytical sense? In a way yes, but then all this terms are idiosyncrasies of a specific cultural group, the “art world” in that case.

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