Empathy, Humanism and Liberalism: Today’s Realism is Anything But Conservative

The social issues that are at the heart of today’s liberal politics — including women’s rights, LGBT issues, racial equality and secular identity — are animating a wide swath of representational paintings. Many are not overtly political, but instead they focus on human dynamics and situations with an emphasis on the power of empathy.


“While we are motivated by very different goals and aspirations, the question, ‘What is the meaning of life?’ seems humbly universal. My experiences prove this answer is rooted in the need for empathy — an individual volition driven by the need for connection and feeling.”

– Kyle Hackett


John Seed
Professor of Art and Art History, Mt. San Jacinto College