I'm interested in visual responses to the world which clearly show that they've passed through a human. The opposite of realism, certainly of hyper-realism.
There is no human who looks like this:
Or like this:
And that's not the point of such images. They channel ideas, feelings, energies, meanings.
Something that humans often seem to do when they process the world is to regularise things. Despite the fact that plants, animals and humans in the actual world are never symmetrical or evenly proportioned, humans often like to make them so. There are no repeating patterns in nature. If you look at a sea shell or a zebra, you'll see that though there's a basic idea that may repeat itself, the way that the repeat emerges is always in some way unique to itself, even as part of a pattern.
Though there may be mathematical rules that provide constraints and generate a type, the actual emergence into the world of the shapes of a general pattern all vary from each other in small ways.
Humans take this in, and seem to like to play with tidying it up into regularity. I find the result of this tidying up process, which shows me that the rose passed through a living human, far more interesting than images that attempt to reproduce the irregular variations of the living original.
The idea, or feel, of a tree, rather than a representation of its actual form...
Having spent the last year or so trawling Indian, Assyrian and Egyptian reliefs and paintings for images that create the feel of plants rather than their exact forms, I've just recently remembered the wonderful craziness of mid-century design.