A painting should tell you as much about the artist as the subject he or she is painting…. until then, to me, it is just a painting with varying degrees of skill.
The ultimate aim of painting is not decorative beauty but truth … what is truth? It must not be confused with formal resemblance,indeed formal resemblance only reaches the appearance of things where as the function of truth is to capture their essence.
SHI TAOI might add not only the subject’s essence but the artist as well.
In philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity.
Our identity must be part of our own work…. Somehow we must fight our way in.