On Figurative Art > What divides fine art from trendy gimmicks and fads? What is it that makes art timeless? Sculptor Rick Casali explains.
It is my belief that geometry is much of what is missing from contemporary realism today. Many modern realists learn gross anatomy and are able to render form meticulously in light and shade; a feat that is impressive up close but what about from a distance? What divides fine art from trendy gimmicks and fads? What is it that makes art timeless?
Ancient Greek sculpture provided guidance to the artists of the Renaissance, and to those of the 19th century like Rodin and Sargent. Broken and stripped of their decorative colors, a beat-up Greek torso contains the missing piece: geometry. The Greeks’ emphasis on mathematics, proportion, and geometric design is what made their art beautiful in a dignified way. Rather than have hundreds of approximately placed bumpy little muscles, geometry organizes the anatomy into a symphony of related forms. In this way, the anatomy exists only to serve a greater truth, such as the expression of the pose or the spirit of a person in their portrait.
About the Artist
The work of Rick Casali (American, b. 1984), a figurative artist based in Maryland, expresses his appreciation for nature and his love of the figure. Whether painting one’s portrait in oils or sculpting the figure in clay, Casali keeps his artistic principles streamlined: “It is the honest study of nature that leads one to beauty,” says Casali. “I’m striving to capture the essence of what is happening … a certain color harmony in the landscape or the spirit of a person in the portrait.” His style embraces classicism, Impressionism, and elements of modern design, aiming to fuse the timeless geometry of the Greeks with a fresh Impressionistic vision of reality.
Casali’s next workshop is in Tampa, Florida, January 13–17. Visit his website at rickcasali.com to learn more.
You can also learn from him in person at the 4th Annual Figurative Art Convention & Expo in Baltimore, Maryland.