Artworks that look realer than the original image
So you see a painting. It looks so real. Too real. In fact, 15 seconds ago, you thought it was a photograph, then someone corrected you. Now, you are in awe. That’s when you decide to look at the hashtags, and that’s when you see the word, a word that has become really popular on social media : ‘hyperrealism’.
Hyperrealism is new. It is trendy. It is absolutely beautiful. And it is also very misunderstood.
Hyperrealism is based on ‘the simulation of something which never really existed’. This description is based on the philosophy of Jean Baudrillard (a French philosopher and photographer. He is late now.)
This suggests that much of what we see (art that is a complete copy of the reference photograph) and call hyperrealism (wrong!) isn’t hyperrealism because hyperrealism brings a dimension to art that never really existed in the first place.
We think this is hyperrealism
(Richard Estes – ‘Supreme Hardware’, 1974)
when really, this is hyperrealism.
(Hyperrealistic painting by Dennis Wojtkiewicz)
So then, if the painting of the Hardware store isn’t hyperrealism, then what is it?
Photorealism. That is what it is.
Let’s talk a bit about Photorealism, shall we?
It is the rendering, in art, of images that we encounter in our normal day-to-day lives in such an exact manner that we could mistake the artwork for a photograph.
So you might ask : oh ok, so which one is now hyperrealism?
Well, hyperrealism is quite similar to photorealism. Very similar. So similar that it has created this dilemma we find ourselves in.
But there is a difference.
Now, let’s look at the similarities for a bit :
- Both Hyperrealism and Photorealism involve the creation of visually stunning, mind-blowing art that imitates real life imagery. As such, both forms of visual art require photographs as a reference source.
- Photorealism and Hyperrealism usually depict the reference photograph in a larger-than-life size, to allow for extremely intricate levels of detailing.
- Both require immense planning, gathering of visual information and examination of the image. They also require high technical skills. The technicality of both techniques is a clear deviation from the oft-celebrated spontaneous and accidental nature of art. This is responsible for some of the negative criticism that photorealism and hyperrealism get sometimes.
Simply put, they are ‘too serious jare’
So then, what is the difference between photo- and hyperrealism?
How can i tell the difference between the two of them?
That is what our next post will try to explain to you.
Watch this space!