Photorealism is an ongoing
pop culture phenomenon wherein painters use some mechanical
means to recreate sterile photographic images of mundane subject matter oftentime depicted as an ascerbic
social statement of our culture and as an aesthetic.
As a recognized subset of Photorealism,
Hyperrealism takes into account a process of simulation
that emphasizes digital degradation, defects and deficiencies
of pictorial elements in modern photography and digital imagery. Therefore, content
of subject matter is a separate medium through which
viewers can connect to reality through the falsity and simulation of the image, which ironically
I combine opaque and transparent
painting techniques to achieve a wider range of lighting
effects. Airbrushing allows me the luxury of blending
my colors optically, that is, during the process of painting.
By not pre-mixing colors on a palette, I can make
immediate decisions during the process of simulated image creation, giving me much greater latitude
for spontaneous and immediate adjustments.
(Above) airbrushed portraits
of rural Darfur refugees were executed in an earthy
tonal style. The muted sentimental character of these
hyperreal paintings further contributes to the simulation of
reality. To that end, I exploit digital photographs
as source materials. Multi-layered lighting and shading in each of my paintings creates, in effect,
a simulation of reality - hence hyperreality. Airbrushing is the perfect
means for masking and perverting reality and then
masking the absence of reality. With the adroit use
of an airbrush,
I can effectively create the illusion of a representation
of a representation. Some critics see photorealism
as a classical pop artform that had its day in the 70's and the 80's. They fail to recognize
that the movement continues to grow with the development
of digital photography. It has given photorealism new horizons to be explored.
Hyperrealism is in the forefront
of that exploration, as illustrated above.