At long last, a Richard Estes retrospective
Richard Estes might be the most neglected major American artist working today. So says Sebastian Smee of the Boston Globe, and I agree. For more than 30 years I have been waiting to see the art of Richard Estes featured in a major exhibition. The time has finally come.
The Portland Museum of Art in Maine is holding a Richard Estes retrospective through September 7. You lucky Portlandians. Then the exhibit is headed to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. from October 10 through Feb. 8, 2015. No other plans announced after that, so I’m traveling to either Maine or D.C. in the near future. Maybe both.
I first wrote about Richard Estes on my blog back in March. See the post Richard Estes: Keeping it real for a slideshow of his work.
Richard Estes turned 82 in May, and is regarded as the father of photorealism. He creates paintings using his own snapshots and photos as models. It’s trompe l’oeil at its finest. It’s not until you look closely at his works that you realize they are paint on canvas.
His skill and realistic detail is astounding. But sometimes Richard Estes went beyond realism. In the painting above, the reflections of the bus on the car, and the Flatiron building in the window, are intensely vibrant and clear. If that was a real photo, the light and angles would have to be absolutely perfect to get those reflections. A true artist, his works are his vision of how life should or could be.
An added bonus, the Portland exhibit also includes actual photographs that Estes used for some of his paintings. What a feast for the senses.
A few other works of Richard Estes featured in the Portland exhibit: