Chuck Close, Audrey Flack, Richard Estes, Robert Bechtle, Ralph Goings, Denis Peterson

10 Art Painters in the Photorealism Era (1968s - Present)

In the realm of art history, the Photorealism era emerged as a captivating movement in the 1960s and continues to influence contemporary art to this day. This genre is characterized by its astonishing attention to detail, precision, and the ability to create paintings that often seem more real than reality itself. Let's delve into the lives, styles, and masterpieces of 10 remarkable art painters who have left an indelible mark on the world of Photorealism.

1. Chuck Close (1940 - Present)

Chuck Close is renowned for his innovative approach to portraiture. Suffering from partial paralysis, Close developed a unique technique using grids to meticulously reproduce images.

Famous Paintings:

  • "Big Self-Portrait" (1968): His commitment to detail is evident in his works like "Big Self-Portrait", where every pore and hair is painstakingly captured.
  • "Self-Portrait" (2000): this painting further exemplifies Close's mastery, portraying his aging face with remarkable honesty.

2. Audrey Flack (1931 - Present)

Audrey Flack, often considered the queen of Photorealism, has a knack for transforming everyday objects into captivating subjects.

Famous Paintings:

  • "Jolie Madame" (1973) immortalizes cosmetics with remarkable precision.
  • "Queen" (1976): in this work, Flack explores the allure of playing cards, with each one rendered meticulously to evoke a sense of tangibility.

3. Richard Estes (1932 - Present)

Richard Estes' fascination with reflective surfaces sets him apart.

Famous Paintings:

  • "The Candy Store" (1969): His attention to light and glass is evident in "The Candy Store," where the play of light on the store's glass exterior is masterfully depicted.
  • "Telephone Booths" (1968): this artwork captures urban life through intricate details of reflections on glass and steel.

4. Robert Bechtle (1932 - 2021)

Robert Bechtle's work often portrays suburban life in America.

Famous Paintings:

  • "61 Pontiac" (1968-69): this painting freezes a moment in time with striking realism, embodying the essence of a quiet neighborhood.
  • "Alameda Gran Torino" (1974): this work similarly captures a slice of life with its unembellished representation of a parked car.

5. Ralph Goings (1928 - 2016)

Ralph Goings' paintings celebrate American culture through its iconic food.

Famous Paintings:

  • "Cupcake" (1997): he elevates a simple dessert to a work of art in "Cupcake," rendering each sprinkle with precision.
  • "Airstream" (2000): this artwork is a testament to Goings' love for diner culture, with its chrome exterior vividly brought to life.

6. Denis Peterson (1946 - Present)

Denis Peterson's hyperrealistic style often carries social and political messages.

Famous Paintings:

  • "Times Square at Night" (1981): this painting portrays the bustling New York scene with an arresting depth of detail.
  • "The Window Cleaner" (1979): this work captures the serenity of mundane moments while highlighting the human touch in an urban environment.

7. Audrey Kawasaki (1982 - Present)

Audrey Kawasaki's art adds a contemporary touch to Photorealism.

Famous Paintings:

"Eien" (2014): with a focus on figurative work, "Eien" showcases her delicate handling of the human form and intricate patterns.

"Katabami" (2013): this painting blends Photorealism with a dreamlike quality, depicting a woman adorned with a floral crown.

8. Tom Blackwell (1938 - 2021)

Tom Blackwell's still-life compositions are a testament to his skill.

Famous Paintings:

  • "Sunflower" (1987): this painting captures the vitality of the titular flower, down to the intricate play of light on its petals.
  • "Amber Glow" (1994): this artwork showcases his mastery of capturing glass surfaces and the interplay of colors.

9. Roberto Bernardi (1974 - Present)

Roberto Bernardi's contemporary approach to Photorealism stands out.

Famous Paintings:

  • "La Scelta" (2006): "La Scelta" explores reflective surfaces in the context of modern urban life.
  • "Nature Morte" (2018): this painting expands his repertoire with a stunning arrangement of objects, each rendered in exquisite detail.

10. Yigal Ozeri (1958 - Present)

Yigal Ozeri's photorealistic portraits often border on magical realism.

Famous Paintings:

  • "Wind Blown" (2012): this work captures a woman in a moment of contemplation amidst nature, the details of her hair and surroundings rendered with precision.
  • "Untitled" (2007): this painting showcases Ozeri's skill in portraying female subjects with ethereal beauty.


The Photorealism era has produced a cadre of exceptional artists who have skillfully blurred the lines between reality and art. Through their dedication to detail, mastery of technique, and innovative approaches, these painters have crafted a lasting legacy that continues to inspire and captivate art enthusiasts and aspiring artists alike.


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