If I showed the next few images and said that they were photographs, there’d probably be a casual reaction. If I said the next few images were paintings – that’s when the jaw drops (or so that happened for me). Absolutely stunning work.
Photorealism emerged from the 1960’s and 1970’s as a movement that countered both minimalism and abstract expressionism. In a photorealist painting, the artist paints from a photograph with a level of detail so fine that they can easily be mistaken for photographs. While the movement waned in the 1980’s it’s coming back in a big way. In 2009, the ArtPrize award was awarded to Ran Ortner’s immense canvas, Open Water No. 24, beating out 9 other finalists (Ortner won after receiving a majority of the 37,264 registered votes cast). His work was the only painting out of the final 10 candidates. (You can read about that here.) With artists’ like Dan Witz (above) using the techniques in a more contemporary setting, the movement is not only coming back, but coming back in a big way.
Here are 10 photorealistic painters (and 21 photorealistic paintings) that are at the height of their game. Remember, they are all oil paintings.
ED NOTE: Each photo links directly to the artists’ website and portfolio in a new window.Eric Zenner