It's not a photo! Believe it or not, this is actually the most amazingly realistic PAINTING

By Richard Hartley-parkinson

Artist Denis Peterson leaves onlookers impressed with his real life scenes showing cities around the world - but gobsmacked when they realise every inch of these pictures are painted.

At first glance some of his works look like a simple billboard over a busy urban setting. But on closer inspection the hidden secret is revealed - even the tiny people and obscure reflections on background windows have been conjured up by his brushstrokes.

The paintings look like photos but far from being captured in a fraction of a second, Denis' paintings take a month to complete and fetch up to 30,000 each. The 64-year-old, from New York, starts with a small photo which he then blows up 1-2000 times to capture every brick, facial expression and leaf in minute detail.

He was one of the first 'photorealists' to emerge in New York in the 1960s and early 1970s and is widely acknowledged as the founder of 'hyper-realism'.

On his website he says: 'As meaningful visual statements, my paintings go through a transformational painting process. 'The illusion of an alternate reality is secondary, a means to an end. My goal is to create timeless compositions that mesmerise the viewer and evoke a core response.'

His most recent work involves street scenes with people being 'weighed down' by advertising billboards, like the ones showing New York.

Some of his earlier work looked at the suffering felt by people imposed by governments and societies raising moral and political questions about military regimes.

His pieces are displayed at galleries and museums in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Utah, California, UK, Italy, Corsica, Switzerland, and France.

'Grain of Sand': The pieces of work are to go on display at galleries around the world
More paintings at the link.

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