Sign up

Hyperrealistic Art: on the edge of reality

I like26     0
Hyperrealism is a movement in modern visual arts, which has gained its popularity since 1990−2000. It involves painting, sculpture and film making. The term Hyperrealism is often used as a synonym of Photorealism, though you could identify the difference with the naked eye
The Hyperrealist artists have not been focused on copying the real life regardless accurate depiction of details and appearances of their subjects. At the same time their artworks very often resemble photos posted on Instagram: faces of strangers, outings with friends, small streets, self portraits, photos of their own hands and sneakers edited with digital technologies. Looking at the artworks one could hardly recognize whether he is watching a photo or a painting. At the same time their pieces of art are rather simulations of the reality which would have existed.
A classical example is the portrait of a girl Betty by Gerhard Richter. The artwork resembles a portrait taken with a camera. However something intangible in the eyes of the model, in her pose and the turn of her head creates the atmosphere of mystery and mysticism. This visual effect can be reached only applying paints.
Hyperrealism avoids complex subject matters though it emphasizes a detail, for instance, a flower decorating hair, or a patch of sunlight on the wall. We cannot but mention a series of the artworks by Masha Shubina; she took pictures of herself with a Polaroid camera and then copied them on the canvases of larger formats. She often depicted only a part of her face laying emphasis on the eyes, lips or accessory of the clothing.

Artworks by Norwegian painter Truls Espedal.

Difference is obvious with a naked eye.

The difference of this style from realism is easier to understand through the examples. The painting Luncheon in the Studio by Mane just depicts the reality and the artwork by Truls Espedal reveals emotional response and perception of the reality by the artist.

The other peculiarity of Hyperrealism is the date of the artwork. Popularity of Realism was not always stable; the movement reached the peak of its popularity in late XIX century. Hyperrealism is the latest wave in the modern arts.

The term Hyperrealism first appeared in 1973; it was coined as the title of the exhibition in Brussels, which demonstrated the artworks of famous photo-realist artists and included emerging painters who would became prominent figures in Hyperrealism, they are Gerhard Richter, Klapheck, Delcol and others.
A lot of Hyperealist artists borrow methods from other existing styles. For instance, Chuck Close skillfully applies the pointillist technique to his paintings; Gottfried Helnwein provocatively uses pop-art images or blends the modern subject matters with the classical biblical subjects shocking and kicking up a row of viewers and critics.
To understand deeply the basics of the style you have to watch the ideal illustration of Hyperrealism in film making the movie by Aleksei German Hard to be a God.

You are an expert if

You are an expert if you are able to distinguish Photorealism and Hyperrealism. The artworks by Photorealists resemble a technically advanced high-resolution photo. Hyperrrealist artworks are more mysterious. The dominant subject in Photorealism is a landscape or a portrait taken mainly, Hyperrealism is focused on details. So, when the photorealist depicts a park in the whole, the hyperrealist would produce a bench hidden in the shadow emphasizing a thing sunbeam. If the photorealist painted a portrait in general, the hyperrealist would highlight a particular feature of a face.

Well known hyperrealist artists

Gerhard Richter, Gottfried Helnwein, Chuck Close, Domenico Gnoli, Masha Shubina (some of her artworks).

Iconic artworks

Gerhard Richter, the Betty
Gottfried Helnwein, the Madonna at the Meeting
Truls Espedal, a series of his artworks with birds

Hyper prices
37.1 million dollars was the price for the Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral Square, Milan) by Gerhard Richter, 1968 on commission of the Siemens Elettra Corporation.
Bidding at Sotheby’s was on May 14, 2013 in New York. That time it was the record price for the artworks of the recent artist.

What a story!

Gerhard Richter executed 2 popular portraits of his daughter Betty in 1977 and in 1988. The first one was distinct and sharp, the other one was produced in a softer manner and the model depicted in it turns away from the camera as if escaping the viewer. These artworks have been the simplest and most mysterious for the history of the genre.
Artists mentioned in the article
Gerhard Richter
Biography • Artworks
Chuck Close
Biography • Artworks
Comment Comments
HELP