Cover for Ordinary People: Photorealism and the Work of Art Since 1968
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA LA)
Ordinary People: Photorealism and the Work of Art Since 1968
This fresh look at photorealism argues for its continued relevance today.
Edited with text by Anna Katz. Text by Gabriela Rodriguez-Gomez, Karin G. Oen, Dhyandra Lawson, Cynthia Daignault
Designed by Jessica Fleischmann, still room
Published 2024 | ISBN: 9781636811000

This volume, Ordinary People, recovers the social art history of the long-dismissed genre of photorealism and demonstrates the continued relevance of photorealist strategies for artists working today. Spanning the 1960s to the present, this large-scale reexamination of the postwar art movement features the work of more than 40 artists, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and murals. It recasts the work of canonical and underrecognized photorealists of the 1960s and ’70s in new frameworks and identifies younger artists who have deployed photorealism as a vehicle for social/political critique. Unlike the typical photorealism survey, Ordinary People includes a diverse, multigenerational group of artists, with a focused look at the major contributions of women and BIPOC artists to the genre. It explores the representational politics of photorealist painting in the context of the recent rise of figurative portraiture and covers the myriad ways that artists, through this seemingly nonconfrontational aesthetic, have enticed viewers to confront painful historical events and social experiences.

Artists: John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres, Michael Alvarez, John Baeder, Judie Bamber, Gina Beavers, Robert Bechtle, Dike Blair, Andrea Bowers, Vija Celmins, Lenore Chinn, Chuck Close, Cynthia Daignault, Richard Estes, Audrey Flack, Ralph Goings, Sayre Gomez, Alfonso Gonzalez Jr., Duane Hanson, Barkley L. Hendricks, Nur Koçak, Jennifer J. Lee, Marilyn Levine, Sam Lipp, Hung Liu, Richard McLean, Marilyn Minter, Catherine Murphy, Calida Rawles, Ben Sakoguchi, Shizu Saldamando, Joan Semmel, Amy Sherald, Mamie Tinkler, Betty Tompkins, Jesse Treviño, Brittany Tucker, John Valadez, Vincent Valdez, Christine Tien Wang, Idelle Weber, Kehinde Wiley, Martin Wong, Takako Yamaguchi.