Abstract or realism? Which is it?



                   Breakfast, Oil, 16 x 20, $425

Abstract (adj.) – to draw from, separate [L. <ab(s)-, from + trahere, to draw]
(Wesbster’s New World Dictionary, 2nd College Edition, Prentice Hall Press, 1986)

Most of my recent paintings explore the notion of abstraction.  When does a representation go from being very realistic to being abstract?  I think it has to do with the artist removing the context of the objects being depicted.  In “Breakfast,” the viewer is required to focus just on the objects, without being able to tell where the breakfast is located or who might be starting to eat it. An abstract painting can certainly consist of shapes and colors, without relating at all to reality.  An abstract painting can also adhere to the literal meaning of the word “abstract,” by separating the subject from its surroundings.  In that sense, surrealism is also abstraction.