Friday, November 20, 2009

Discovering Dirk Dzimirsky

"Trinity by Dirk Dzimirsky, Charcoal on Canvas

Normally I'm not a fan of photorealism. I guess I don't see the point of making a painting/drawing look like a photograph - from a photograph. I'm sure there was something shocking and fun about it way back when, in the 60's when Chuck Close and Estes were pioneering the effect, but in my opinion it quickly degenerated into cliche and technique. These portraits, while technically photorealist, I think go beyond photorealism.

The artist is Dirk Dzimirsky and he's featured on the cover of the Fall issue of Drawing. An interesting quote from the article: "When looking at magazine photographs its obvious that beauty-mania removes every sign of a human face...I want to oppose this with my portrait drawings and show people as they are. I believe art has to be true - then it really is beautiful. for me, Things such as glamorously styled magazine beauties or pinups are not only boring but also have something disgusting about them."

Nelson Shanks said something similar when talking about judging entries for the portrait/figure category in the recent Artist's Magazine competition: ""Remember it's no longer 1880 or before! In other words avoid too much romanticism and make your work reflective of your time. Reacting , perhaps, to a number of portraits of beautiful women , Shanks admonishes, "'Pretty is dangerous ground." If your subject is inherently pleasing to the eye, it's important to look beyond that - toward what appearances may hide..."

Dirk Dzimirsky in his work goes beyond appearances AND technique. Go check his work out.


  1. WHOA! I don't understand how he can achieve such fine detail, like with the highlights in each strand of hair, with charcoal. Incredible. Thanks for the link.

  2. Hi Bella, The drawings are BIG, like 50x50 and 40x40 so it makes it slightly easier to get details like the catchlight in the eye etc. It still takes a ton of time and laser concentration. I've seen others TRY to do it, but this guy really pulls it off because he gets such a sense of the person. I dunno, to me it doesn't look at all photographic.

    1. 'to me it doesn't look at all photographic.' ...this is exactly wat i feel...when i saw it for d first time it did luk like a photo to me....but now i can see beyond that... i guess i got a mountain to climb......
      Thank u ...your blog is helpful..


About Me

My photo
Elmira, New York, United States
In many ways I think like a photographer. The image itself is becoming more and more important to me; the actual application of paint less and less. Blasphemy in some painterly circles. I choose to paint figures and portraits because I consider them the most difficult subject.