We have been exploring and researching a great deal of realism on the site over the past few years, noticing that the medium of hyperrealism, or photorealism as it gets labeled as well, is going through a very robust and interesting phase. Jonathan LeVine Gallery has curated a new exhibition, "Based on Actual Events," that brings together 4 artists we really enjoy, Alyssa Monks, Joel Rea, Diego Koi, and Eloy Morales, opening Saturday, January 11, 2014.
A bit about each artist:
Alyssa Monks was born in 1977 in Ridgewood, NJ and is currently based in New York. She received an MFA from New York Academy of Art in 2001 and has been awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for Painting three times. The artist has said, of her work: “In a contemporary take on the traditional bathing woman, my subjects are pushing against a glass window, distorting their own body, aware of and commanding the proverbial male gaze. Thick paint strokes in delicate color relationships are pushed and pulled to imitate glass, steam, water and flesh from a distance. However, up close, the physical properties of oil paint are apparent. When I began painting the human body, I was obsessed with it and needed to create as much realism as possible. I chased realism until it began to unravel and deconstruct itself. I am exploring the possibility and potential where representational painting and abstraction meet—if both can coexist in the same moment."
Diego Koi was born Diego Fazio in 1989 in Lamezia Terme, and is currently based in Feroleto Antico, in the province of Catanzaro, Italy. As a self-taught artist, he began as a tattoo designer and has since developed a skillful hyperrealist approach to drawing the human form in pencil. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Cairo Prize in Milan. He has been featured in numerous publications such as The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and Juxtapoz.
Eloy Morales was born in 1973 in Madrid, Spain. The majority of his works are large-scale hyperrealist portraits (often self-portraits) rendered in oil on canvas and pencil on paper. On the subject of his work, the artist states: “I try to adhere to the line where reality coexists in natural form with my inner world. I believe in the immense power of the images and their infinite possibilities.”
Joel Rea was born in 1983. In 2003, he received a BFA from Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia. In 2013 he was selected for the Black Swan Award for Portraiture in Perth, the Fleurieu Landscape Prize in Adelaide and received the ANL Maritime Art Award in Melbourne. In a 2013 review of his paintings, Jane Denison wrote: "Intrigued by chance, duality and alternate possibilities, Rea’s hyperrealist paintings delve into the depths of our minds. Using the physical elements as a metaphor for human emotion and experience, Rea portrays nature as pulsating energy that is both majestic and threatening. Rea describes himself as a Contemporary Surrealist Painter, but his work is also a twist on the aesthetics of the sublime in 18th century Romantic art. In common with Romantic artists, Rea is interested in the duality of opposites where nature is a source of purity and timelessness while also a dark sentiment and force of destruction.''