I’ve followed the career of artist Alex Katz since the late 1960’s. His commitment to realist painting in the face of shifting trends and prevailing styles, inspired me in part to pursue the same course. Unfairly categorized as a Pop artist, and later pigeonholed as a Photo realist, he was in fact neither.
Katz was his own man without allegiance to any particular school, and he developed a quirky, modernist style of painting that is only just now being fully appreciated.
Artinfo.com has published a wonderful interview with Katz, in which he talks about his forty year career as a realist painter. When asked why he thought a whole new generation of painters were intensely interested in his work, he responded:
“It’s really simple painting. There are no gimmicks. It doesn’t depend on invention. For so long, the art world’s just been full of novelty, but this (gesturing to one of his paintings) is a whole different thing. The other thing is that I’m not so hot as a modern artist either. The work’s not a hundred percent modern. So that in the time period we’re living in now, my work makes more sense to people.”