I coined the term "Pararealism" to denote the fact that realism in painting has many more dimensions than what is ordinarily considered "realistic" (such as in the supposed objective representationalism of a photograph). The term "pararealism" also points to the fact of going beyond photorealism (“post” or “neo-photorealism” are cumbersome words and not as suggestive!). It is my view that realism, impressionism and abstraction all blend into each other in the reality of a painting, and these categories and terms are more present in the mind, as useful categories for discussion, than as realities in the world. However, nothing is set in stone, and my art is an exploration, in thought and action, of these worlds of vision, light, feeling and representation.

Pararealism, from the Greek root "para" for "beyond or around" means going beyond reality, like the original impressionists who wanted to go beyond the static idealisms of the official Salon school status quo. It is my understanding that the impressionists wanted to capture the play of light and explore the optical effects of painted color as well as the subjective emotional conveyance. Pararealism also is about seeing and expressing what is seen, but takes its cues from many more modes of painting than impressionism, including but not limited to photorealism and the Old Masters. These are all still available to the painter.

One artistic mode, “ism”, or style does not replace another as creations about the "truth" of what is seen as reality do in science; rather they are all additive. We can build on what others in the past have learned. We can safely ignore the modernist demand to throw the past away in the name of pure innovation. True innovation depends on the past, but lives in the present, with an eye towards the future.

Art is divergent: it does not try to hone in on The Truth for the future, like religion and science attempt to do, but instead the growth of art-culture is akin to the growth and evolution of life, ever increasing in depth, complexity and diversity. Beauty, Truth and Goodness are not trends of fashion or -isms, or static idealistic absolutes, but ever-living forms, reflective of the ineffable wellsprings of light, love and truth from the core of life, from which all draw on in the present.

"In art, if not in politics, it is often the conservatives who are the most revolutionary.” - Andrew Lambirth

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science."
— Albert Einstein








© Eric Platt 2007