Irving Norman‘s art evolved out of American Expressionism and though he understood and admired what his contemporaries were accomplishing, Irving followed the song of a different muse. He said at one time: “The path I followed chose me, not me it, I was led to painting by experiencing life, it’s contemplation and a desperate need to give it expression. I find spiritual strength in the artists of the remotest past to the immediate present.”
Although influenced by the Social Realists of his time, Norman’s style of figuration was set apart by a predilection for caricature – a realism inflamed by the fantastic rather than the natural. The horror and futility of war as experienced by the artist in Spain certainly equipped him with an apocalyptic vision. Norman was creating meticulously detailed realistic paintings and making use of “cartoon” aesthetics decades before the advent of Photorealism or the current “low-brow” fad.
Mexican hyperrealist sculptor Rubén Orozco has taken over the internet thanks to his talent in creating life-like figures of various characters that have attracted the glances of everybody due to their realism. Among his most important monuments are: the statue of Pope John Paul II in Guadalajara, Jalisco; The statue of Juan José Arreola in Ciudad Guzmán and in the Rotunda of the famous Jalisco people; and the statue of Goddess Themis at the Supreme Court of Justice of Jalisco, among many others.
Jonathan Wateridge‘s paintings are elaborately crafted ‘non-events’ that have the trappings of a real occurrence but for the most part are entirely fabricated. A significant part of his work over recent years has been to reconfigure or re-make a given scenario or found image. This involves building full-scale sets and using performers to enact roles, within the context of the studio, in order to set up questions about the way we frame and understand notions of the real.
The work employs painterly realism as a ‘default setting’ by which to view the world, curbing any excesses of expressive style to emphasise not only the often fleeting, banal and everyday quality of the scenes depicted but also the nature of their construction.
Mwanel Pierre-Louis is an artist and illustrator based in Miami. His work is based from a graphic and color driven language of today’s pop culture and is mixed with realism and abstraction. The work is also derives from fashion, music, and people. He’s shown his works within Art Basel Miami in Dec 2014 to Tokyo, Japan in summer of 2013. Color is driven in most of his work and as well in his life.
New York City based Mike Lee’s (previously featured here) graphite drawings contemplate the duality between artificiality and realism by taking everyday normalcies (figures, objects and settings) and working them into their most simplistic forms. Small subjects surrounded by vast white spaces, Lee’s drawings represent fleeting moments in a large world.
Robert “Rob” Gonsalves is a Canadian painter of magic realism. He produces original works, limited edition prints and illustrations for his own books. Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his paintings, if anything, is real.
Most of his stunning paintings have an unclear boundary between the multiple stories they tell, which forces the viewer to jump back and forth between them – like an optical illusion that changes every time you look at it.
Madrid based Miguel Scheroff is a painter whose works range between reality and fiction. Using the technique of oil painting as his favorite, he presents large-scale works made with an incredible hyperrealism. He puts in contact painting with photography, although that it is not his intention, but he aims to critique the society within we live.
Bo Bartlett is an American realist with a modernist vision. His paintings are well within the tradition of American realism. Bartlett looks at America’s heart—its land and its people—and describes the beauty he finds in everyday life. His paintings celebrate the underlying epic nature of the commonplace and the personal significance of the extraordinary.
Greg Parma Smith‘s painted realism is perversely synthetic and immaculately crafted. His works, composed of oil, acrylic and metallic leaf, are baroque in their construction and subject matter. Smith’s use of cartoons seems at the service of a more hermetic endeavor, one that further mystifies the relationship between a popular image and a rarified artwork.
Sam Green has been working as an illustrator for 10 years since he graduated from his Masters at Central St Martins in London. Sam embraces analogue and digital methods when creating illustrations, combining a unique skill set to create striking images that make use of detailed realism and playful abstraction.