Rome artist tackles realism in the age of photography

ROME, N.Y.-- In the age of photography, realism is close to becoming a bygone painting style.

Posted: Jan. 25, 2018 11:46 PM

ROME, N.Y.-- In the age of photography, realism is close to becoming a bygone painting style. 

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"Everyone's got a phone in their pocket," Danielle Bertrand, Corresponding Secretary of the Rome Art Association said. "You can take studio-quality pictures of anything you want."

For Rome artist Keith Leonard, a photograph doesn't do justice to the landscapes in the greater Utica region.

"I just admire the world, you know, I think the world is just full of beauty," Leonard said. 

'Adventures in Realism' is Leonard's newest exhibit at the Rome Art & Community Center. The collection features several paintings of landscapes from Oneida, Madison and Otsego counties.

Leonard takes pictures of settings first, and then paints from the photograph to achieve life-like detail.

"I will occasionally show people the photo that I took the painting from, and they say they like the painting better," Leonard said.

Even when the subject is an old barn or a crumbling structure, those who view Leonard's work can see the character often not captured by a camera's lens.

"Like that is definitely beautiful, it's a flawed item, but painted perfectly," Benny Garden, another local artist said.

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