Hyper Realism

Zuzana in Paris Studio by Hynek Martinec

“Zuzana in Paris Studio by Hynek Martinec”

We visited the Scottish National portrait Gallery yesterday and viewed the BP Portrait Award 2007 exhibition. I couldn’t get this painting out of my mind – yes it’s a painting!

We used to think of photographs as being real and paintings to be representations of reality. But with the likes of photoshop we can longer trust that what we see in a photograph is real. Perhaps a painting such as this challenges us to think more about what we mean by reality? 

Definitely worth a visit.

6 thoughts on “Hyper Realism

  1. That is quite amazing. I am often challenged by art when the artist’s interpretation of his subject confuses my own image of that subject. Strangely enough this painting has done something similar. Why not just take a picture for that amount of accurate (the photoshop argument aside) detail? Thanks Don -I must go to the exhibition itself.

  2. I recently attended the teacher’s workshop on this exhibition. The NGS Education team have a number of these that run throughout the year. They are usually very good as you get to meet other teachers and are given a very good insight usually by the curator of the exhibition. Recent good ones have been on Joan Eardley and Basil Spence. This picture is of the artist girl friend and from what I remember she does not like it! This style of art is called hyper or photo-realism.

    Two artists that some of my Higher class have been looking at are the American’s Chuck Close and Richard Estes. Estes paints mostly street/ cafe scenes of American/ New York life in a hyper- realist style. His work makes a good contrast with the work of Edward Hopper from the 1930’s

    None of Close’s images are created digitally or photo-mechanically. While it is tempting to read his gridded details as digital integers, all his work is made the old-fashioned way—by hand.
    In 1988, Close had a spinal artery collapse; on the day he was to give a speech at an art awards ceremony. A few hours later he was a quadriplegic and his painting career should have terminated.
    However, Close continued to paint with a brush held between his teeth, creating large portraits in low-resolution grid squares created by an assistant. Viewed from afar, these squares appear as a single, unified image, which attempt photo-reality, albeit in pixilated form. Eventually he managed to recover some movement in his arm and legs, and now paints with a brush strapped to his hand.

    He is worth checking out! If you use searchcrystal website and go to video there are some interesting interviews with him.

  3. Pingback: What I never learnt in art class at MotherSoup

Comments are closed.