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Taking the mundane and making it sublime. That’s what comes to mind when I look at Goings work. Although he had his detractors who thought what he did wasn’t really art it was copying photographs, I suggest they pull out a canvas and some paints and have at it. It’s not easy, in fact in many ways it harder than painting abstractly. That being said, it’s really about the choice of subject, the staging and the slick pristine look he gave to the most banal of objects. Beauty in simplicity. I get it.
Ralph Goings (May 9, 1928 in Corning, California) is an American painter closely associated with the Photorealism movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. He is best known for his highly detailed paintings of hamburger stands, pick-up trucks, and California banks, portrayed in a deliberately objective manner.
“In 1963 I wanted to start painting again but I decided I wasn’t going to do abstract pictures. It occurred to me that I should go as far to the opposite as I could. … It occurred to me that projecting and tracing the photograph instead of copying it freehand would be even more shocking. To copy a photograph literally was considered a bad thing to do. It went against all of my art school training… some people were upset by what I was doing and said ‘it’s not art, it can’t possibly be art’. That gave me encouragement in a perverse way, because I was delighted to be doing something that was really upsetting people… I was having a hell of a lot of fun…”