I decided my first post for this weblog would be ARC.
This site is just amazing. The heart of it is an enormous virtual museum of realist and representational art filled with high-resolution images of thousands of paintings (as well as some drawings).
Browse through the Museum (online galleries), which you can sort by artist’s name, nationality or dates. The vast array of monitor-filling high-res images are sometimes accompanied by super-high-res versions that let you see details you can’t see in most book or poster reproductions.
The site is somewhat clouded by its emphasis on art politics and its “Philosophy”, basically a constant rail against modernism that takes on an air of importance and exclusionary doctrine that starts to sound like… well, like the arrogant, exclusionary art-establishment modernists themselves. ARC champions 19th century academic art, once the art establishment, now out of favor, against the current modernists, once out of favor, now the art establishment. (Sigh.) Same as it ever was.
Anyway, don’t let that (or their incessant, inexplicable attempts to elevate William Bouguereau to demi-god status) get in the way of the art. The art is spectacular. The art is amazing. Any minor gripes I might have fall by the wayside in light of what they’ve accomplished. ARC is a mind-opening, eye-dazzling online collection.
Warning – be prepared to spend hours feeding your eyeballs once you start.