Realism is broadly considered as the beginning of modern art. As an art form, it revolutionized painting expanding formations of what constituted art. Realist painters replaced idealistic images with real-life events, giving precincts of humanity similar encumbrance to grand history paintings and symbols.
Realist painters brought everyday life into their canvases and this was an early manifestation of the avant-garde desire to merge art and life, and their rejection of pictorial techniques. Realism heralded a general move away from the ideal towards the ordinary. Even in their figure drawings and paintings, Realists portrayed real people not idealized types. Artists felt increasingly free to depict real-life situations stripped of aesthetics and reflected a progressive and highly influential shift in the significance and function of art in general. The style retains its influence on the visual arts to this day.
Pedro Escalona, a Spanish visual artist is a living portrayal of being such a virtuoso. His recent solo exhibition at the Galerie Mokum in Amsterdam incarcerates what the present-day holds. His still life paintings are outstanding, rejecting the literary and exotic subjects of the Romantics and the idealized forms of the Classicists. He has favoured the depiction of everyday objects in a naturalistic style. The way the light falls and the vibrant configurations make Escalona’s paintings incredible snapshots of a moment in time. The paintings exude an undeniable tranquility. Escalona’s objects in the paintings refer to his daily life and are authentic without an objective. They are objects that are distinguishable to the public eye however the painter adds exceptional meaning to each piece.
In the painting ‘Manton II’ he has created a contrast between the backdrop and forefront, glowing neutrality through the subtle tones of colours and delicate application of paint. There is an unparalleled synchronization in the play of light, tonal solicitation and mood. In ‘Pajaros I’ interplay of texture, colour and earthy tendencies are apparent. A reminder of life in nature and existence of culture in the past, there is a mystery for Escalona’s viewers to enjoy.
Escalona’s subject matter combined with naturalism of treatment, his forms of sharply focused almost photographic painting are a celebration of his everyday life. His visual language are a means of communication, very much like written and spoken languages. Resembling language it is successful if communication takes places. The representation of his objects is capable of expressing the enormous limitless scope of human thoughts, ideas, beliefs, values and especially the feelings, passions and fantasies within the viewer. All these are the varied and infinite stories of humanity.