Artist Painter Howard Fox

A Giant Dream by Artist Painter Howard Fox

…” For many, Artist Painter Howard Fox has been seen as a realist, a hyper-realist, a magic-realistic artist. Why? Because his hand is superb, his technique is impeccable, and his paintings are accessible. But these labels are wrong all the same. What Fox produces is Fiction Painting. He imitates nothing and creates everything. He crafts the environment and its structures like a master architect. He places his characters precisely and intimately in dark corners of his stage … as deftly as a theatrical director. The viewer can even hear him whispering the dialogue into the ears of his performers. He colours mood and light as if behind the camera of an impossible cinema. Here is Babylon. Here is Bangkok. Here is the city of your dreams and there, the city of your fears. And here is Hell. All fictions, yet all alive and real and possible … despite the impossibility of everything.” Michael Satok-Wolman

One could get the impression that Howard Fox’s work belongs to the Fantastic Art genre. That is the first impression. One could easily see that his paintings are narratives and that they are executed with an exact and figurative technique. The initial impression is that his work belongs to another time and another place. The pictorial and narrative abundance of his work does not fit in with the current artistic norms.
But, after a prolonged and minute observation of these dense pieces of art, I can now read them as very contemporary paintings. They belong in the here and now and challenge the norms which dominate the field of art today, norms which dictate the way we conceive of what is art.
These norms decree that we should be able to grasp the painting instantly. They decree that we should prefer philosophical meanderings rather than narrative. Fox requires the viewer to observe the delicate details which populate his scenes and build a narrative himself. He demands from the viewer to suspend the formal digestion of the work and to gather himself the various details, thus gradually constructing his aesthetic impression of the colors and shapes. I venture to say that Fox’s reliance on Renaissance techniques is not a symptom of his anachronistic longings for the past, but rather a contemporary statement, positioning him as a Post-Modernist artist, more so than most of his contemporaries.” B. Ras