Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Al R. Moldroski


Photo Realism is the principal term used throughout this paper. I use this specific terminology, Photo Realism, so as not to confuse it with Super Realism, Sharp Focus Realism or Hard Edge Realism. True, many of these Realisms all mean the impecable clarity of subject matter, but, for my purpose, I am continually using Photo Realism to make it evident that a photograph was rendered to achieve an end result.

Using predominantly contemporary Photo Realists' beliefs and opinions as my main resource material, comparisons were made of their unique styles so as to present the various uses of the photograph through the medium of oil. To combine painting with photography is a technique incorporating a mechanical device with an old medium, retaining the integrity of both. In this increasingly technical society, the artist can use technology sensitively. The use of the photograph through painting shows constructive growth toward the development of contemporary art. The material presented here is to show that the use of the camera does not duplicate productions, but only makes the productions more dynamic.

The use of photographic images inspired the Photo Realists as did traditional realistic painting. The desire to struggle with photography, which reveals true reality in just moments, not only influenced many artists' compositions, but provided immediate source material for many paintings. The Photo Realist is concerned with reevaluating common things, thus emphasizing this force by size. The emphasis of an image heightens the ability to see, to take note of what is really being viewed. What usually goes unnoticed is now emphasized to achieve its aesthetic beauty, thus informing us of a beauty which is usually ignored. This enables the viewer to inspect the painterly quality of a production. Ordinarily, the piece would engulf the viewer with emotions, ---- now investigating the production as a sole work of art is of most importance.

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