Inspired by photorealism, hyperrealism is a contemporary school of painting that evokes the illusion of photography. With advancements in cameras, lenses, and digital equipment, artists have been able to be far more precision-oriented in their practice, culminating in an entirely new genre of contemporary art that makes you do a double take.
Unlike photorealist painters who may make aesthetic alterations and consciously omit details in order to emulate photographic images, hyperrealists take a more literal approach to representation. Like the source photos themselves, photorealist paintings incorporate elements like depth of field, perspective, and even focus. All compositional quirks are reproduced, and imperfections are never concealed.
Because hyperrealist art suggests a false reality, it requires a high level of skill. Here, we present a hand-picked selection of artists who have mastered the craft and whose work directly depicts the limitless possibilities of the hyperrealist style.
Strikingly realistic paintings by artists who specialize in hyperrealism:
Jason de Graaf
Jason de Graaf produces striking still-lifes. In his practice, he often takes some creative liberty with his subject matter by adding illusions of depth not typically found in photographs. “I don’t strictly adhere to the reference material at hand,” he explains. “I use my subject as a springboard and a means to explore my ability as a picture maker. I use colors and composition intuitively with the intent of imbuing my paintings with emotion, mood and mystery. Throughout, I try to remain open to new ideas and surprises as the painting unfolds.”
Pedro Campos creates crystal-clear images of everyday objects. His favored subjects include soda cans, marbles, and fruit, which he reproduces in extraordinary detail.
Simon Hennessey is a hyperrealist that specializes in portraiture. His depictions of the human figure predominantly include close-up portrayals of people’s faces, which impressively feature minute details like strands of hair, realistic wrinkles, and even reflections in his subjects’ eyes.
Denis Peterson initially emerged as a photorealist painter. However, he would soon become widely acknowledged as a primary architect of Hyperrealism. His meticulously detailed New York scenes showcase a range in subject matter, from the the city’s bright billboards to it colorful residents. This dual focus has culminated in a diverse body of work that captures the spirit of the city.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, American painter Robert Bechtle specializes in scenes of the city and its suburbs. With an artistic interest and knack for exploring everyday life, his retro paintings present a simple look at his surroundings.
Gustavo Silva Nuez
Specializing in large-scale depictions of swimmers, Gustavo Silva Nuez takes hyperrealistic portraiture to another level. By incorporating details like rippling water, shimmering reflections, and sprays of bubbles into his compositions, he is able to effortlessly create lifelike scenes straight out of the swimming pool.