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For me, the best art helps shape our feelings and our world. It has the power to bring to the surface and articulate our deep, unformed stirrings – not by bombarding us with a point of view, but rather, by giving form to and communicating, however subtly or ambiguously, a world of sensations and affects.
A representational painting is a magical illusion of reality and an abstraction of reality at the same time. It is a mental construct, a world manipulated into form through the eye and the body, as well as the mind. This duality inherent in the image, consisting of the reality depicted and how that reality is abstracted, lies at the mysterious heart of Realist painting.
My work begins with the observed world, which I try to distill into something fresh and personal - yet observation is relative. When I see a candle glowing in a dark room, for instance, I see at once the same event as anyone else, and a completely singular one, absorbed through my eyes and my experience. It is this ambiguity between what one sees and how one sees it that keeps Realism alive as an aesthetic language. The best Realist art remains vital because the interplay between observation, representation, interpretation, and imagination is forever open-ended. My hope and goal is to make paintings that satisfy on all these levels and, in so doing, speak to the viewer about the inherent mystery, beauty, and multi-layered meanings of what we see.
-Walter W Impert