Andrew Wyeth was accused by his many critics of depicting a false world, a world that on the surface may appear to be realistic (he was viewed as a realist) but was actually false and not at all representative of the world he lived in. Wyeth depicted a selective, nostalgic view of a quieter, simpler America, akin to the themes of Norman Rockwell or Edward Hopper.
I’d have no problem with that even if I thought it were true. That could very well be the way he viewed his life and the critics just don’t get it. Then again, I have never been known to agree with the critics or modernist views on art. I’ve been experimenting with egg tempera so I had just started looking at Wyeth’s work again in December. I love this photograph. He looks like such a character.
“Wyeth remained a polarizing figure even as the traditional 20th-century distinction between abstraction and avant-gardism on the one hand and realism and conservatism on the other came to seem woefully inadequate and false.”
EDIT: Lord Whimsy’s wonderful post about Wyeth.
Obit on the “false world” theme pointed out by C.P. McDill Ricardo Montalban was most remembered for his role in Fantasy Island, wherein his character created virtual worlds for paying customers to act out their fantasies. Patrick McGoohan was the creator of a British Sci-Fi television series about a man who is transported to a fake village where nothing is as it appears.