Although this was sent to you in a previous note, I thought to post it here for anyone with the same questions:
My inspiration and what motivates me: Living in and around a large city such as New York has driven me to paint from two distinct perspectives. Both are inspired by observations of dehumanization created by commercialism and its resulting classism. The end result is the same whereby a large populace is relatively unconcerned with its surroundings and the disadvantaged who live within. So, observations of an absense of interaction is one perspective.
The building edifaces and such are an interesting backdrop for what is not reflected on the street, i.e. homelessness, poverty, lack of interaction among the populace, self-aggrandizement, entertainment, etc. This theme has been fairly consistent throughout all my painting series.
What are means to me: Expression in art is similar to music, poetry, dance, writing, etc. in that it leaves a sense of permanence (in this case) the viewer's mind. Although the viewer may have an intense reaction, unlike verbal conversations, the artist rarely knows what effect his or her art had on another person.
So in in a sense, art is more or less sharing one's dreams, thoughts, anxieties, hopes and fears with an unknown audience. To do this effectively, one must be in touch with their own path or purpose so to speak.
Having said that, I specifically refer to the fine arts. When I started out, I did a lot of commercial illustrations and cartoons, which may have shared some of the above to a minor extent, but in the case of commercial art there lies a big difference - it is specifically designed to receive a measurable reaction, i.e. the selling of a product, etc.
I don't know what your art class is all about, but I would recommend picking up some good literature on art history and the movements of art that were often started by a single artist.
Ironically, many of these movements grew (or morphed) into entirely different styles other than those of the originator. So since I started the movement, hyperrealism has burgeoned into more plastic art form. In my case, I only termed my art as hyperrealism after recognizing that I was dealing with invisible or alternate realities.
This was a result of my taking on huge projects such as the mass murders in Rwanda, another genocide. My earlier photorealist works did not compare. They were more centered on an aesthetic as opposed to an idea.
Hope this helped .. if you need to know anything more, or would like to send me class reactions, etc. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org