Have you ever experienced a piece of art that was so realistic, with such incredible attention to detail, that it took your breath away?
You’re certainly not alone. Hyperrealism is beloved by art enthusiasts around the world. Artwork in this genre can capture the realistic vision of nature and people, but can also include deeply foreign elements that captivate and invoke a sense of fantasy.
Let’s look at what exactly hyperrealism is and its rich history of disruption in the art world.
Hyperrealism is a genre of visual arts, particularly in painting and sculpture, that showcasing incredibly realistic imagery.
This form of unique art is often considered a natural progression of photorealism. The main differences between the two art forms, which are often confused for each other, involves chronology. Hyperrealism stemmed from photorealism, but the photorealism movement continued nonetheless.
Another big difference between the two is the technique. Photorealism is extremely focused on perfection and realism, which lead many art critiques to debate whether photorealism was actually an art form or a skill. Hyperrealism, on the other hand, focuses more on advancing those techniques and adding emotion, intent, narration, and feelings into their work. A lot of hyperrealistic art crosses with surrealism as well. While photorealism revolves around skill and technical precision, hyperrealism tends to revolve around adding social or political messages into realistic artistic depictions.
Well-known hyperrealistic artists include Carole Feuerman, Duane Hanson, and John De Andrea.
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The term “hyperrealism” is derived from the word “hyperréalisme.” This French word was coined by Belgian art dealer Isy Brachot in the early 1970s as the name of a major exhibition curated by Brachot.
The exhibition was disruptive and legendary in the art world. It featured many classic American photorealist artists, including Ralph Goings, Don Eddy, and Richard McLean. The exhibition also included notable European artists such as Domenico Gnoli and Konrad Klapheck.
The exhibition has since influenced many painters around the world who derived their hyperrealistic works from photorealistic trailblazers. In the 21st century, hyperrealism was based around the aesthetic rules and ideas of photorealism. American artist Denis Peterson was one of the first painters to apply hyperrealistic ideas to help grow the movement. In an interview with Poets and Artists, Peterson spoke frankly about what moved him to produce photorealistic and subsequently hyperrealistic art, and how he views the growth of the genre among artists:
“Back in 1966, it was called New Realism then, followed by Sharp Focus Realism and by 1970 it was going full speed as photorealism. There were many really fine and innovative painters in the movement. I regarded my own work, albeit original, lost in that mix and somewhere towards the bottom of the pile, despite a brief showing at the Brooklyn Museum. However, few others were airbrushing, particularly with acrylics, which in those days were nothing more than grossly overpriced latex house paints. Actually, I am quite pleased to see so much fine new work out there these days. I just let my work speak for itself, and never make comparisons. Frankly, I only compete with myself, finding that content and composition are the driving forces behind my direction. As I don’t anticipate public reaction, I see this stylistic continuum as somewhat of an artistic journey to break creative boundaries, rather than as a competition.”
Hyperrealism is still considered to be relatively new. When it was first conceived and developed in the 20th century, much of hyperrealistic art involved traditional tools of artmaking. Namely, clay, painting, charcoal, etc.
Hyperrealism has now evolved along with the advancement of art technology into digital artwork, though traditional hyperrealistic artists still exist and capture the essence of early hyperrealism. Digital tools for creating hyperrealistic art have resulted in pieces that feel like almost a simulated form of reality, complete with elements that are impossible or improbable in nature. For example, Bert Monroy is known for creating 100% computer-generated hyperrealistic works that appear as surreal photographs to the naked eye.
This genre has also progressed along with social and political context at the turn of the millennium.
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Color has a psychological effect on our mood as human beings. The color red can invoke feelings of love or excitement, black can invokes feelings of unhappiness or fear, etc. When it comes to art, the way we perceive color and are affected by it emotionally can impact the way we consume and enjoy art.
This concept can be experienced tenfold when it comes to hyperrealistic art. Because hyperrealistic paintings or sculptures are extremely realistic with an often “uncanny” edge of fantasy, one already can approach an artwork like this and feel a sense of discomfort, confusion, relation, or sympathy depending on the subject matter. Color can amplify this. If color palettes are precisely matched to a hyperrealistic depiction, viewers may feel as if they are looking at a living, breathing entity. For example, Ron Mueck’s hyperrealistic sculptures of people use a precise color palette to match human flesh. While some of these sculptures are made on a completely unrealistic size scale, they still appear extremely real because of Mueck’s photorealistic technique and use of color.
Are you a fan of the incredible genre of hyperrealism? If so, you’re in luck. Fans of hyperrealism can enjoy our beautiful art prints at Dechamby Design.
Our mission is to spread color and its positive energy with the world through our vibrant compilation of arts. Our pieces can complement any household as conversational decor and add color to your life. Nothing generates emotion and conversation quite like hyperrealism, and adding a piece from this unique genre can add incredible personality to your home.
Our hyperrealist pieces can be found via our Dechamby Design catalog of artwork.
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Are you a fan of hyperrealistic art? Tell us about your favorite hyperrealistic artist or piece in the comment section.