Learning lessons from the Greeks: add interest by avoiding hyper realism

I found this gem of a clip on YouTube about how the Greek sculptors were the first to use their eyes and create realistic sculptures of the human body, but a generation later, abandoned this altogether to produce exaggerated sculptures of the human body. As Professor Ramachandran explains, within us lies the primal instinct to exaggerate. Exaggeration, as with story telling, adds interest “If art is about realism, why do you need art? You can go around looking at things”.

I have always wondered why I am not inspired by hyper realistic paintings (even when I am in awe of the technique) and what is interesting here is even when we look back at the traditional, what we assume to be a realistic sculpture or painting is often subtly exaggerated to add interest, be it in the proportions of the body or the lighting, this exaggeration is what catches our eye and makes us inquisitive.

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