All posts tagged: hyperrealism


Mirror for the Middle Class: Duane Hanson in Retrospect

Winning over the general public isn’t always a good thing in the art market, where popularity with the middle class frequently translates to poor sales among wealthy patrons and art collectors. So it’s fitting that the late sculptor Duane Hanson’s body of work is seeing a resurgence of interest just as the middle class — the subject of his life’s work — slowly erodes in the face of technological innovation and industrial automation. Brushed aside by the tastemakers of the seventies, Hanson’s startlingly life-like portrayals of average Americans have been called “achingly beautiful” by The Guardian, drawing comparisons to Edward Hopper and other classic realists. Editorial attention tends to play up the time-traveling effect the works have on the viewer. The appeal is part fashion tourism, part self-recognition. While the clothing choices are garish and the moments captured depressingly banal, the imortalization of seemingly meaningless moments is bound to resonate with the selfie generation (or the older generations trapped in it with us). Pieces like “Young Shopper” and “Tourists II” have a certain voyeuristic appeal, …