Photorealism art was born from other kinds of arts such as pop art, which seeks to imitate a photograph in the essence of a painting. Ever since the invention of photography, many artists have wanted to replicate the accuracy of this through hand.
Photorealism is a variant of hyperrealism but it isn’t so radical in terms of artistic attitudes. This emergent art exists only to reflect a photographic image; if the landscape of the canvas is not a reflection of a photo then it is not photorealism. Also, the idea is to execute the greatest possible accuracy of details regarding the photograph itself, so the artist must be equipped with enormous technical precision and skills in terms of lighting and colors to create the synthesis of the image. Then, it must not be hard to see a difference between the photograph and the canvas.
In other words, photorealistic painting cannot exist without photography. In this art, change and movement are stopped in time. The artists gather their information and images through the camera. Once the image is developed it is transferred systematically to the canvas, usually with the projection of a slide over the painting to avoid any difference between the two (the photograph and the painting).
On the other hand, hyperrealism encompasses photorealism and takes it by the hand. Hyperrealism is a genre of painting and sculpture in which the work resembles a photograph in high resolution; although it does not imply that it’s a copy of the photograph. It is an independent art style and movement that was born just in the 2000s and extends throughout the United States and Europe.
The hyperrealistic style focuses more on the details and the subject to be represented; the works are not exact copies of photographs or literal illustrations of a scene or landscape. Rather, it has other additional elements that highlight reality, transforming it into something worth seeing. It is possible to achieve in hyperrealism something resembling fantasy or distortion of reality, but represented with the most exquisite technique where the resemblance to reality is so strong that this fantastic part seems invisible to the human eye.
In addition, hyperrealism may reflect emotional content or content associated with social, cultural, political or other issues. This gives greater value to the work through a visual illusion.
An example of photorealism can be seen in the works of Ralf Goings, a Californian that highly relates to the photorealistic flowing by representing very detailed paintings of trucks, pick-up trucks, hamburgers shops and banks in the sunny state. And the work of Robert Cottingham specialized in urban scenarios showing an excellent realistic technique.
In terms of hyperrealism, we find works such as those by Jason Degraaf, who doesn’t specifically use photographs and specializes in representing light through forms and artifacts. Edward Hopper, who by using pop art, staged in his works the loneliness that hides the “American dream life”; or Pedro Campos, an Spanish painter whose work makes you doubt whether or not they are photographs, with content based on current consumerism.