Jul 7, 2011

Pseudo Realism

One of most fascinating new form of art that has emerged since the collapse of the East Block and the embracing of free market ideas by the Asian countries is perhaps 'Pseud Realism'. During the era of cold war, most of Asian countries had either sided with the communists (that is why it was called the East Block) or remained neutral so as not to jeopardize their newly earned freedoms. During this time most of the artists in these countries were encouraged by the establishment to express though the arts the ideas of social equality, and praise of the communist regimes. The result was the begining of a style of art called "Socialist Realism".

Pseudorealism: One of Asia's fascinating new art-form

The end of East Block and the embracing of free market ideals in these countries now produced a counter movement where artists tried to glorify the freedom touted by the market leaders. The result was the begining of "Cynical Realism" as against "Socialist Realism". Nonetheless both of these had one thing in common: propaganda.

Pseudorealism is also a product of this period but it has the distinction of not being propaganda at all. The chief idealist of this art form, Indian artist Devajyoti Ray had stated explicitly that it is an art form to explore the ways of using abstract academic concepts to "create" something not real, but which would be conceived as reality. In other words, the objective of this form of art is exclusively academic and not praising of either market or government.

Socialist Realism (left) and Cynical Realism(below) both in a way are agenda driven and hence its appeal is perhaps short-lived

Pseudorealism also frees an artist from the obligation of being true to the nature. It is particularly suited to the world that we live in, where fantasies can be presented as reality to unsuspecting cyber-audience. There is also a third advantage of this style: it lends one the option of praising or criticizing anything and also keep mum without the risk of being labeled as anything else but a Pseudorealist.

However at present the spread of thes new styles of art are limited mainly to the countries of their origin, Cynical Realism in China and Pseudo Realism mostly in India. But then that had always been true for most other forms of art as well, be it the American Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism, or now the Japanese Superflat.