Thursday, 24 September 2009

The quest for hyperrealism.

A spin off from the 70's 'photorealist' movement, 'hyperrealism' is a movement dedicated to being 'more real than real'. To not just copy a photograph in paint, but to add or create an element that not would be evident from looking at a photograph. It might be a reaction, emotion or thought that just a photograph would not envoke.

Below is an excerpt from
"A Brush Stroke for Every Human Suffering" - Ari Siletz, Media Watch about the below painting by Denis Peterson.

"This instance of hyperrealism is a performance art. Viewers are deliberately made to notice the amazing amount of time and painstaking effort that went into portraying this Darfur refugee. Peterson isn't showing off; he is a radical painter, compelling us with his dedication. The astonishing realism is the result of every wrinkle and twist of hair being colored and shadowed in the context of reflected light from every other object in the scene. Whereas the camera does this mindlessly as a matter of optics, this artist has endured whatever it took to make sure human eyes do not respond as mindlessly. We can flip the page on a Newsweek photo, worth a click of the camera, but we can’t as easily turn away from such an extraordinary labor of compassion."

Don't Shed No Tears Acrylics on canvas 24"x36"

Some veritable hyperrealist artists are Denis Peterson, Tom Martin, Pedro Campos, Simon Hennessey, Raphaella Spence, Randy Ford and Luciano Ventrone. Below are sample paintings from each of the above in order.

Denis Peterson - Apocalypse
16"x23" Watercolor and watercolor pencils on paper

Tom Martin - Wholewheat
Acrylic on panel 100cm x 100cm

Pedro Campos - Oil on canvas 116cm x 89cm

Simon Hennessey - The Duality of Colin
Acrylics on board
60 X 160 cm 2008

Raphaella Spence - Impressions 2008
oil on canvas 95 x 127 cm

Randy Ford - Mixologist
Oil on canvas 26"x14"

Luciano Ventrone: Aureolin
oil on linen 60 x 70 cm

As you can see, they are truly hyperreal! I never knew that one could paint so realistically. However, if you think about it, of course one can! It's just a series of colours arranged in a certain pattern; the same as a photograph is. It's the 'exactness' that makes them different to regular paintings. The exact colours, tones and brushwork. Some use watercolours, some use acrylics and airbrushes, some use oils; the results are just as breathtakingly amazing as each other.