Many times in the history of art we saw artists aiming to capture reality as faithfully as possible. It is then up to the audience to decide whether to accept more or less expressive works of art as real or to opt for technical images created with the help of a camera.
In this article, we would like to focus on the artistic movement called hyperrealism, known in the USA as photorealism, which originated in the USA in the late 1960s and early 1970s and which still amazes the world today.
The renaming of this movement from photorealism to hyperrealism in Europe occurred thanks to a French translation during a Brussels exhibition of American photorealists. Since then, the movement has been referred to as hyperrealism in Europe, and in the USA it is more often referred to as photorealism. However, the concept is the same in both cases; it is a kind of revolt against abstract expressionism and minimalism.
In contrast to these two movements, artists creating hyperrealist art strive to capture reality in as much detail as possible, so that at first and perhaps even second glance it is impossible to distinguish a painting from a high-quality photograph.
The process of creating this type of art consists in precisely capturing the photographed subject, which the artists paint bit by bit on canvas or other surface. This very demanding and lengthy process can be seen on the profile of hyperrealist Fabiano Millani, who organises painting courses all over the world.
Creating portraits is also a style of Jason Brooks or Gottfried Helnwein, whose pieces I had the opportunity to see years ago myself, and only in retrospect, while writing this article, I discovered that they were not photographs but acrylic paintings on canvas.
We must also mention Hynek Martinec, Czech artist who creates not only hyperrealistic paintings but he also draws portraits, interiors and exteriors. However, the master of hyperrealistic painting of architecture is considered to be Ben Johnson, who comes from Wales, United Kingdom and who’s incredibly faithful paintings are represented in the collections of the most important institutions of art.
But hyperrealism is not just about painting or drawing. For example Ron Mueck, Duane Hanson, Carole A. Feuerman and Sam Jinks create hyperrealist works in 3D. The sculptures of created people are often accompanied by real clothing and other equipment, which often results in interesting interactions with visitors of the exhibition.
This way of simulating reality using highly authentic, almost living sculptures is based on the fusion of illusion and everyday life.
Whether you are a fan of hyperrealism or not, we believe an exhibition with this theme is definitely worth a visit. And if you are lucky enough to see the works of any of the artists mentioned above, we promise that it will become an unforgettable experience.
Carole A. Feuerman