Photo-realism, Super-realism, Hyper-realism is, the art historians will tell you, a principally American art movement of the late 1960’s and 1970’s. The bastard off-spring of Pop Art, it has always attracted less than glowing praise from critics. Its combination of nihilistic, seemingly arbitrary, throw-away subject matter and anal-retentive neo-academic technique in the pointless and slavish reproduction by hand of photographic and print reproductions has always left a bad taste in the mouths of the cultural elite.
It was precisely these qualities that first attracted me to it, and ‘Prawns’ was my first painting in this mode of inexpression. Although there are several techniques of photo-realist painting; airbrushing, over-painting projected images, and simple slavish academic copying, this painting is brush painted in oil on paper using the Malcolm Morley method of splitting the image with a grid, turning the image upside-down and, with the rest of the image hidden, copying the ‘abstract’ pattern of coloured shapes one square at a time.