The Realist painting in the high-definition era. Following the brush strokes of Virginia Vargas.

The reabsorption of the Second World War shadows allowed us a gradual cultural-technological renaissance. The refinement of scientific research showed its antithetical productive potential. We have made progress in leaps and bounds in honorable fields like medicine, but we also have idiotically continued to perfect the production of deathly weapons. They say that History should be the best teacher, but we are often the worst students. What is certain, however, is that History traces indelible marks, which are necessary to contextualize a specific change. The improvement of the mass communication characterizes, certainly, the present and the advent of the high-definition has modified our sense of distances.

A realistic image has great power over our minds. The iconographic representation of reality is able to influence spectators’ point of view and confuses their perceptions. The figurative realism can reduce the space between the portrayed subject and the observer, but can also assimilate the experiences of two different individuals, creating what is generally called “collective imagination”. A picture is worth more than a thousand words, just because is free from the limits of language. There are not particular lingual-ethnic prerequisites to understand a figurative image and when the representation is deeply similar to reality everything seems so typical. The high-definition television and photography give us incredible communicative possibilities and have influenced the activities of many artists.

Virginia Vargas in her studio

The art world has started to take advantage of photography since the end of the 1800s, thanks to Impressionism. The improvement of the photographic technique has been fast, but the connection with painting has never failed. Virginia Vargas’ artistic production is an example of this. The Italo -Uruguayan painter, in fact, has started to devote herself to art starting to study her father’s photographs. Then, influenced by photography, she has absorbed the fundamentals of the analytic figuration. So, the scientificity of the snapshot has found its own place on the canvas and Vargas has formulated her own personal language. Of course, there are a lot of incredible, and often unknown, hyperrealist artists out there, but what Virginia creates is more than a reproduction of reality.

Virginia Vargas, Nude, Oil on canvas.

Virginia Vargas proposes the temporary evolution of the Realism introduced by Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), but also demonstrates the efficacy of the exchange between tradition and innovations. In fact, although she uses photography as aesthetic model to create pictorial images, her artworks are still impregnated with painting sensitivity. The mixture of two different expressive techniques, and the impeccable use of the brush, let Virginia show her elegant approach. The realistic reproduction of a particular moment is, certainly, the main peculiarity of photography but the painting creation inevitably implicates the emotional involvement of the artist. While scientificity makes the subject clear, unconscious painting impurities consecrate the creative act. The ability to combine the scientific rationality of photography and the spirituality of painting is rare and Vargas is a unique performer. She’s the celebrant of a flawless union, able to inspire indiscriminately spectator’s senses.