One can argue that realism in art is boring. What's so interesting about a house or a chair or any other common object depicted just as it is?

Chrisanne Moats, manager of the Escondido Municipal Art Gallery, believes that everyday things deserve to be appreciated for their simplicity. Evidence of lovely artifacts of regular life can be seen at Contemporary Realism, a juried exhibition of modern realist paintings and sculptures from 30 local artists opening from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 11.

"This show is made up of things we would normally take for granted," she says.

But the exhibition doesn't solely offer standard depictions of these objects. Some artists found ways of re-creating an ordinary piece out of unexpected materials—like Peter Mitten's sculpture of a cardboard box made out of aluminum, corrugated in such a way that it looks identical to the real thing.

Moats says that artists have a way of taking everyday objects and exposing the thing that makes them remarkable.

"The way the light hits something or steam rises from a cup of tea in swirls—some artists might see that as moving and feel compelled to share that," Moats explains. "They feel compelled to share the way they look at the world."

That eye for detail may also have an effect on non-artsy folks, too. Moats believes the exhibition has the power to get people to "take that extra minute to really look at something" and change their perspective.


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