Still mulling the Bechtle 'photorealist' paintings. My worst moment is the knee-jerk allegory for the U.S. dependence on automobiles. But that's there.

Thinking about the artists he refused to follow, and yet he still ended up following. Minimalist sculptors used industrial materials like concrete, metals, and plastics. Bechtle returns to mimetic principles, but mediates the work through the projected slide image of an everyday snapshot. The industrial materials are now the content or stuff, i.e. the cars made of plastic and metal and the roads of concrete.

What is photorealism but the aestheticizing of billboards, which we see from cars. Billboards are always moving, a snapshot is fixed.

In the exhibit we see young, middle, and old Bechtle, plus members of his family. Photo albums are cut-outs from a biography that's never been filmed. We see parts at once.

More paintings of his wife and son than daughter.

He paints the projected slide image of a photograph. He gestures to the abolishment of artistic skill and technique. But I couldn't do what he does with a brush.

His paintings have a cold stillness. It's the frightening perfection of a warm sunny day. Reminds me that a picture steals your soul. (Most of my family pictures on Flickr have privacy limited.)

Where is Bechtle in California? His snapshots are the spectacle of the silver screen in very slow motion. Imagine myself stopping a projector and painting what was on the screen.

On the Road and whisked about in the "Wichita Vortex Sutra." Somewhere along the way we settled in Bechtle's suburbs.

I didn't see any foreign brand autos.

It's the same world as Stephen King's Christine, a Plymouth Fury in the 1983 movie.

Why cut off the front of the station wagon in his most famous family portrait? Think about wagons and the westward course to California, which Bechtle calls home.

It's not all cars and suburban intersections. There are scenes from the backyard, the study, the Tastee Freeze.

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