Gerhard Richter is a well-regarded German painter—perhaps best known for Sonic Youth‘s use of one of his paintings as the cover for Daydream Nation—who has been using photographs as guide material for years. But it was only recently that he noticed the interesting effect of paint dribbled onto the photos themselves. He ran with it, and the results are impressive indeed.
These paintings create a new kind of abstraction, one that comes from the use of new paint strokes and drips over old images. Naysayers may deride the lack of time spent agonizing over every stroke, but anyone who has seen Richter’s more conventional paintings can’t say that he lacks the ability needed for realism. He’s simply gone in a different direction, and we’re all reaping the benefits.