Top 25 Photorealism artists who changed its history

In the United States, the photorealism art trend first appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It’s a painting technique that tries to produce pictures that are as accurate and finely detailed as photographs.

Artists who specialise in photorealism use images as their source material to carefully replicate the nuances of the image in their paintings.The end result is frequently a very accurate and lifelike portrayal of the subject.

Chuck Close, a well-known photorealist practitioner, is known for his large-scale portraits that frequently include extremely realistic details, such as individual hair strands or skin pores. Richard Estes is a well-known photorealist painter known for his intricate depictions of urban and cityscapes.

1. Chuck Close

Photorealism artists

Born: 5 July 1940, Monroe, Washington, United States

Died: 19 August 2021, Oceanside, New York, United States

Periods: Contemporary art, Photorealism

Spouse: Leslie Rose (m. ?–2011)

  • Charles Thomas Close was an American painter and visual artist.
  • After being paralyzed by the anterior spinal artery, he adapted his style of painting and work methods to compensate.
  • He died on August 19, 2021.
  • Chuck Close was born in Monroe, Washington.
  • Chuck was only eleven years old when his father, Leslie Durward Close, died. His mother was Mildred Wagner Close.


2. Richard Estes

Photorealism artists

Born: 14 May 1932 (age 90 years), Kewanee, Illinois, United States

On view: National Academy of Design

Parents: Marie Estes, William Estes

Period: Photorealism

  • Richard Estes, an American artist, is best known for his photo-realist paintings.
  • These paintings are mainly composed of geometric landscapes and reflective, clean cities.
  • He is considered one of the founders of the international photo-realist movement in the late 1960s.
  • He had been living in Spain since 1962 and could afford full-time painting by 1966.
  • Because he felt that these details were distracting from the buildings, he did not include litter or snow.


3. Gerhard Richter

Photorealism artists

Born: 9 February 1932 (age 90 years), Dresden, Germany

Spouse: Sabine Moritz-Richter (m. 1995), Isa Genzken (m. 1982–1993)

Children: Ella Maria Richter, Betty Richter

Parents: Ernst Alfred Schönfelder, Hildegard Schönfelder

  • Gerhard Richter, a German visual artist, is Gerhard Richter.
  • Richter’sRichter’s abstract and photorealistic paintings, as well as photographs and glass pieces, have been produced.
  • His works are often referred to as some of the most significant contemporary German artists.
  • Horst could not keep a job in the new National Socialist educational system. He found a position at Reichenau.
  • Richter graduated from high school in 10th grade. He worked as an apprentice stage-set and advertising painter before he studied at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts.


4. Audrey Flack

Photorealism artists

Born: 30 May 1931 (age 91 years), New York, New York, United States

Education: Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (1953), MORE

Spouse: H. Robert Marcus (m. 1970)

  • Audrey L. Flack, an American artist.
  • Her pioneering work in the art of Photorealism encompasses sculpture, painting, and photography.
  • Flack holds many academic degrees, including a graduate and honorary doctorate from Cooper Union in New York City.
  • Flack graduated from New York’sYork’s High School of Music & Art.
  • From 1948 to 1953, she studied fine art in New York, where she was under Josef Albers.


5. Ralph Goings

Photorealism artists

Born: 9 May 1928, Corning, California, United States

Died: 4 September 2016, Sacramento, California, United States

Education: California College of the Arts (CCA), California State University, Sacramento

On view: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

  • Ralph Goings, an American painter, was closely linked to the Photorealism movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • His most notable work was his detailed painting of California banks, hamburger stands, and pick-up trucks.
  • Goings was the child of a Corning, California, working-class family and was raised during the Great Depression.
  • He was exposed to painting and art in his freshman high school art class. He was also inspired by Rembrandt’sRembrandt’s discovery at the local library.
  • His aunt encouraged him and gave him books and instruction materials.


6. Duane Hanson

Photorealism artists

Born: 17 January 1925, Alexandria, Minnesota, United States

Died: 6 January 1996, Boca Raton, Florida, United States

  • Duane Hanson, an American artist and sculpturer was born in Minnesota.
  • South Florida dominated his career.
  • His life-size realistic sculptures of human beings were his most outstanding achievement.
  • He cast works using human models made of various materials such as fiberglass, Bondo, and polyester resin.
  • Hanson started making figural castings with fiberglass and vinyl in 1966.


7. Robert Bechtle

Photorealism artists

Born: 14 May 1932, San Francisco, California, United States

Died: 24 September 2020, Berkeley, California, United States

Partner: Whitney Chadwick

  • Robert Alan Bechtle was an American painter and printmaker. He also taught.
  • He spent almost all of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area, and his art focused on daily life scenes.
  • His paintings often depict cars and are done in a Photo-realist style.
  • His mother was a teacher, and his father was an electrician.


8. Don Eddy

Photorealism artists

Born: 4 November 1944 (age 77 years), Long Beach, California, United States

Education: University of California, Santa Barbara

Spouse: Leigh Behnke

  • Don Eddy is a modern representational painter.
  • Around 1970, he was recognized in American art by a group of artists called Photo-realists by dealers and critics.
  • He lives in New York City together with his wife.
  • Eddy was born in Long Beach, California, in 1944.
  • He began his adolescence working at his father’s auto shop, doing custom paint jobs. This experience gave him a good understanding of Southern California car culture.


9. Yigal Ozeri

Photorealism artists

Born: 1958 (age 64 years), Israel

Books: Yigal Ozeri: A New York Story, MORE

Movies: Revolution at Giverny, Yigal Ozeri: The Chameleon

  • Yigal Ozeri, an Israeli artist, is based in New York City.
  • His large-scale cinematic portraits capturing young women in landscapes are well-known.
  • His oil paintings are photorealistic.
  • His son, Adam Ozeri, is a professional soccer player.
  • He currently resides and works in New York City.


10. Louis Meisel

Photorealism artists

Born: 1942 (age 80 years), Brooklyn, New York, United States

Books: Gil Elvgren: All His Glamorous American Pin-ups,

  • Louis K. Meisel, an American author, dealer in art, and proponent of the photo-realist movement, is the man who coined it in 1969.
  • He also owns one of the first art galleries in SoHo, located at 141 Prince Street.
  • Meisel defines Photorealism as the creation of paintings that appear to be photographed when finished.
  • Louis and Susan Meisel have the largest collections of Photorealism, pin-up art, and Photorealism worldwide.


11. Robert Cottingham

Photorealism artists

Born: 26 September 1935 (age 87 years), Brooklyn, New York, United States

Education: Pratt Institute

  • Robert Cottingham, an American artist, is well-known for his prints and paintings of American urban landscapes.
  • He sees himself as a realistic painter who works in an American tradition of vernacular scenes in the vein of Charles Demuth and Stuart Davis.
  • Cottingham began his career as an advertising executive after he studied art at Brooklyn’sBrooklyn’s Pratt Institute.
  • After moving to Los Angeles to work, he started to paint seriously.
  • He quit his job as an advertising executive in 1968 and began painting full-time.


12. John Baeder

Photorealism artists

Born: 24 December 1938 (age 83 years), South Bend, Indiana, United States

Artworks: Yankee Clipper, Highway Diner, Corner Lunch, Stardust Motel

  • John Baeder, an American painter, is closely linked to the Photo-realist movement.
  • His best-known work is his meticulous paintings of American roadside eateries and diners.
  • John Baeder was born in 1938 in South Bend, Indiana. He was raised in Atlanta.
  • In 1960, he began his career in Atlanta as an art director for a New York branch of an advertising agency. He later moved to New York City in 1964.
  • Through the 1970s, he had a long and successful career in advertising. He also continued to draw, paint and photograph.


13. Glennray Tutor

Photorealism artists

Born: 25 August 1950 (age 72 years), Kennett, Missouri, United States

Artworks: Dream of Love, Solo – I Dreamed it All, Cap Guns

  • Glennray Tutor, an American painter, is well-known for his photorealistic paintings.
  • He is part of the Photorealism movement.
  • Tutor’sTutor’s first Photo-realist paintings were made in the 1980s without knowing anything about the original Photorealism movement.
  • Many of Tutor’sTutor’s paintings have been featured on the covers and inside magazines, records, albums, and books.


14. John Kacere

Photorealism artists

Born: 23 June 1920, Walker, Iowa, United States

Died: 5 August 1999, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States

Artworks: Loretta II, Joni 90, Roman Visitation, Figure with Panties and Bindings, Suite: Olympic Centennial Untitled

  • John C. Kacere, an American artist, was born in 1886.
  • Kacere was originally an abstract expressionist. In 1963, he adopted a photo-realist style.
  • Nearly all his photo-realist paintings depict the midsection and female body.
  • Although he rejects the term, he is still considered one of the first photo-realists.
  • In 1969, Kacere’s first photo-realist painting was a midsection view of a woman wearing lingerie.


15. Vija Celmins

Photorealism artists

Born: 25 October 1938 (age 83 years), Riga, Latvia

Education: University of California, Los Angeles (1965), Herron School of Art and Design (1955–1962)

Awards: MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada

  • Vija Celmins, a Latvian American visual artist, is best known for her photorealistic paintings of natural environments and drawings.
  • Her early work consisted of pop sculptures as well as monochromatic representational paintings.
  • She entered the John Herron School of Art, Indianapolis, in 1955. There, she said that she felt like an outsider for the first time in her life.
  • She also returned to painting after being away for 12 years. She worked mainly in pencil during that period.


16. Claudio Bravo

Photorealism artists

Born: 8 November 1936, Valparaíso, Chile

Died: 4 June 2011, Taroudant, Morocco

  • Claudio Nelson Bravo Camus, a Chilean hyperrealist painter, was Claudio Nelson Bravo Camus.
  • He was heavily influenced by Renaissance and Baroque artists and Surrealist painter Salvador Dali.
  • Since 1972, he has lived and worked in Tangier (Morocco). Bravo also lived in Chile, New York, and Spain.
  • His paintings of still lives, portraits, and packaging were his most prominent achievements.
  • Venegas, a strong supporter of the realist movement of Chile, encouraged Bravo’sBravo’s hyperrealist style.


17. John Salt

Photorealism artists

Born: 2 August 1937, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Died: 13 December 2021, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom

Education: Birmingham School of Art Slade School of Art Maryland Institute College of Art

  • John Salt, an English artist, pioneered the photo-realist school with his highly detailed paintings in the late 1960s.
  • Salt was raised in Birmingham’sBirmingham’s Sheldon District.
  • His father owned a motor repair shop, and his stepfather was a signwriter who painted stripes on cars.
  • He married in 1966 and moved to the United States.


18. John De Andrea

Photorealism artists

Born: 24 November 1941 (age 80 years), Denver, Colorado, United States

Education: University of Colorado Boulder, The University of New Mexico

  • John De Andrea, an American sculptor, is well-known for his realistic sculptures depicting human figures in their natural poses.
  • He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


19. Eric Zener

Photorealism artists

Born: 1966 (age 56 years), Astoria, Oregon, United States

  • An American photo-realist artist, Eric Zener is best known for his figure paintings of single subjects.
  • He settled in San Francisco in 1991 and is still living there as of 2004.


20. Hilo Chen

Photorealism artists

Born: 15 October 1942 (age 79 years), Yilan City, Taiwan

Period: Photorealism

  • Hilo Chen, a Taiwanese-born American artist, is the subject of this article.
  • His photorealistic paintings depicting the female form are his most well-known works.
  • He lives and works in New York.
  • His work can be found in major museums around the globe.


21. Betty Tompkins

Photorealism artists

Born: 1945 (age 77 years), Washington, D.C., United States

Spouse: Bill Mutter

Books: The Women in My Life: A Retrospective in Coordination with Monmouth University 800 Gallery, West Long Branch, New Jersey, October, 1997

  • Betty Tompkins, an American artist and art educator, is Betty Tompkins.
  • Tompkins was to exhibit her work in Paris in 1974.


22. Burhan Doğançay

Photorealism artists

Born: 11 September 1929, İstanbul, Turkey

Died: 16 January 2013, İstanbul, Turkey

Parents: Adil Doğançay, Hediye Doğançay

  • Burhan C. Dogancay, a Turkish-American artist, was his name.
  • Dogancay is most well-known for his half-century-long tracking of walls in cities around the globe and integrating them into his artistic work.
  • He began to search the streets of New York City for inspiration and materials for his collages and assemblages.
  • Dogancay worked and lived during his last eight years, alternating between his studios at Turgutreis in Turkey and New York.
  • In January 2013, he died at the age of 83.


23. Jeremy Geddes

Photorealism artists

Born: 1974 (age 48 years), Wellington, New Zealand

Books: The Mystery of Eilean Mor

Period: Photorealism

Education: Melbourne, Victorian College Of The Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne

  • Jeremy Geddes, a New Zealand-based photorealistic painter, is from Wellington.
  • His Cosmonaut series of paintings are well-known.
  • Geddes is also an avid gamer.


24. Carolyn Brady

Photorealism artists

Born: 22 May 1937, Chickasha, Oklahoma, United States

Died: 5 May 2005, Rochester, Minnesota, United States

Period: Photorealism

Education: The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University

  • Carolyn Brady was an American artist and photo-realist painter.
  • Her paintings often feature hyper-realistic watercolors that depict flowers and table settings.
  • She began her professional career with large panels of linen applique, often with a literal component. Her first job was probably inspired by a New York textile designer.
  • Brady met Joseph Raffael, a photo realist, early in his career.
  • Her works gradually increased in complexity and size.


25. Howard David Johnson

Photorealism artists

Born: 2 September 1954 (age
68 years), Mötsch, Bitburg, Germany

  • Howard David Johnson is an American photographer and illustrator.
  • He uses a variety of mixed media, from oil on canvas to digital media.
  • He blends digital and traditional styles.

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