The Difference Between Photorealism and Hyperrealism

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“Hyperrealism is a genre of painting (and sculpture) that resembles a high resolution photograph and is a genre of artthat evolved naturally from Pop Art, which in turn evolved into Photorealism.
Consequently, Hyperrealism is effectively an advancement of Photorealism. However, whereas Photorealists reproduced photographs so exactly that the resultant painting was essentially indistinguishable from the original photograp.
Hyperrealists, however, used photographs merely as a reference, and instead of copying the original photograph precisely, in every tinyt detail, introduced personal interpretation, narrative, charm,emotion and 'soul' into their paintings - which from a distance look like photographs but which when examined more closely are clearly nothing of the sort.
The term "Hyperrealism" evolved from the word Hyperealisme, which was first used by Isy Brachot in 1973 as a French word meaning Photorealism. The word described a completely new and independent art genre and style in the United States and Europe, which emerged at the beginning of the 21st century.

Hyperrealisme was the title of a major exhibition at Brachot's gallery in Brussels, Belgium in 2000 and immediately caught on amongst artists, museum curators and dealers to describe painters who were influenced by, but progressed further than the Photorealists”.
Although the Encyclopaedia Britannica defines Hyperrealism as an “American art movement that began in the 1960s, taking photography as its inspiration", this movement was in fact Photorealism. Painters belonging to this genre created extreme illusionistic images copied even the tiniest details in the original photograph - the subject matter most frequently being street scenes with American cars. In other words, these artists were trying to reproduce photographs so exactly that the human eye would be unable to distinguish between the original photograph and the finished painting.
Wikipedia gives a more accurate definition of Hyperrealism, which it says "is contrasted with the literal approach found in traditional photorealist paintings of the late 20th century. Hyperrealist painters and sculptors use photographic images as a reference source from which to create a more definitive and detailed rendering, one that unlike Photorealism, often is narrative and emotive in its depictions".

"The photorealistic style of painting", it adds, " was uniquely tight, precise, and sharply mechanical with an emphasis on mundane everyday imagery, as it was an evolvement from Pop Art.
Hyperrealism, on the other hand, although photographic in essence, can often entail a softer and much more complex focus on the subject depicted, presenting it as a living tangible object. These objects and scenes in Hyperrealism paintings and sculptures are meticulously detailed to create the illusion of a new reality not seen in the original photo. That is not to say that they are surreal, as the illusion is a convincing depiction of (simulated) reality.
Textures, surfaces, lighting effects and shadows are painted to appear clearer and more distinct than the reference photo or even the actual subject itself”.
Many artists, dealers, gallery and museum curators confuse the issue because until recently, there has been no specific definition of Hyperrealism. Consequently, photorealist artists are often described as hyperrealists - and vice versa. The true hyperrealist, however, is no mere copyist. The true hyperrealist recognizes that despite the extraordinary technical skills required in photorealism, (which are no less when creating hyperrealistic paintings), there is little point in merely reproducing a photograph as a painting; why not merely print the original photograph larger, he argues.
Instead, the hyperrealist interprets the reference photograph - or in many cases multiple reference photographs - and with the use of artistic licence, specific and highly individualistic techniques of colouring and detailing, is able to add charm, emotion and 'soul' to his paintings, thus giving to his works a mystical, even magical quality that simply does not exist in photorealistic paintings. It is for this reason that hyperrealism is considered an advancement on photorealism.

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