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INSPIRATION: Photorealism

INSPIRATION: Photorealism

“Photorealism is the genre of painting based on using the camera and photographs to gather information and then from this information, creating a painting that appears to be very realistic like a photograph. The term is primarily applied to paintings from the United States art movement that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s… the blatant admittance to the use of photographs in Photorealism was met with intense criticism when the movement began to gain momentum in the late 1960s, despite the fact that visual devices had been used since the fifteenth century to aid artists with their work.” Source: Wikipedia

What I love about photorealism is that the typical photorealist art piece focuses on something mundane from every day life (for example, Tom Blackwell’s paintings of store displays or Ralph Goings’ paintings of condiments) but because they are paintings and not merely photographs, we see the world as closely as possible through the artist’s eyes. There is something entrancing about viewing what seems like a photo only to realize that the photo was actually made by brushstrokes.

Photorealism Inspiration

Richard Estes, "The L Train" (2009)

Richard Estes, “The L Train” (2009)

Ralph Goings, "Salt and Pepper" (1983)

Ralph Goings, “Salt and Pepper” (1983)

Chuck Close, "Big Self Portrait" (1968)

Chuck Close, “Big Self Portrait” (1968)

Here are some links for further photorealism viewing:

Ralph Goings

Tom Blackwell

John Baeder

Ben Schonzeit


Alison Hickey

Posted by Alison Hickey

Alison Hickey is a set designer based in Toronto. Her credits include 'Schitt's Creek', 'The Good Witch', 'Remedy', and 'Spun Out'.

  1. Great post. Remarkable images. I got as close as I could with this style but just didn’t have the patience to go as deep as the portrait by Close or the other two pieces. Gorgeous work.


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