Duane Hanson, Tourists (1970)
I love this section on realism. Sometimes people do things to get away from reality and not accept life as what it really is, they try to run and hide from it. But realism really shows us reality and you can’t get away from it, you see life as it really is and I love that. The quote form this piece that I love is, “My most successful pieces are naturalistic or illusionistic, which results in an element of shock, surprise or psychological impact for the viewer. The subject matter I like best deals with the familiar lower and middle-class types of today. To me, the resignation, emptiness and loneliness of their existence captures the true reality of life for these people.... I want to achieve a certain tough realism which speaks of the fascinating idiosyncrasies of our time.” This quote alone shows exactly what I love about this picture. I love that he can have that element of surprise and shock, because then it will actually impact the viewer not just be another piece they see. Impact is a big thing for me in art. It has to have a reason. I also like how he captures the life of the people like he said, he really does show through his work what their lives look like, he doesn’t cover anything up, he just tells it how it is. That is so important to me.
A good song to play with this piece might be Funkadelic-“One Nation Under a Groove’ by George Clinton. It was a way to take reality by storm and as they said “dance” their way through. To me music is just like this artwork, real. It took reality and walked right to it and looked it in the face. But music helps ease the pain more. You can have fun in reality even if it is scary and shocking, just dance your way through.