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A scanned section of the original painting 'Fierce Pursuit'

The difference between Hyper-realism or Photorealism & Dynamic Realism

How would you define Hyper or Photo- realism?

Hyper or Photo- realism is an artwork mimicking the reality of a subject, using a flat untextured technique to portray subject matter that exhibits the technical skill of the artist and their ability to cause the illusion of the 'real'.

How then does Dynamic Realism differ?

The difference is shown in a number of distinct ways, which include subject choice, how the artworks are created and the appearance of the finished artwork.

Why does Dynamic Realism seek to capture the Motion and psychology of subject?

This is a key difference between Dynamic Realism and Hyper or Photo-realism. Dynamic Realism seeks to portray selected subjects, not because of their form or necessarily to capture something for a beautiful impact on the eye of the viewer - like a landscape, seascape, bowl of fruit or figurative portrait. These subject matters are too static or 'posed' for Dynamic Realism.

The subjects chosen in Dynamic Realist artworks reveal a moment of reaction, or psychological portrait. Dynamic Realist artworks capture this reaction between subjects within a composition and even subjects reacting to something outside the composition.

The motion and psychology of a subject portrays the 'life,' the 'real' and the strikingly recognisable. The point of fascination for our naturally voyeuristic human nature. These psychological moments produced on canvas or paper cause a deliberate impact on a viewers perception, so the dynamic is not purely about what is within the composition but also the impact of the dynamic on the viewer.



So there is a difference in how the subjects portrayed effect the viewer of a Dynamic Realist artwork – how would you explain this?

In many hyper or photo-realist artworks the subject is composed with the knowledge it is being or will be viewed. Subjects are therefore laid out for a viewer to be seen in a particular way and to be aesthetically pleasing and balanced.

In Dynamic Realist artworks the subject is not conscious of the viewer, the subject is within it's own psychological 'world'. The fact of the subjects unconscious of being watched, heightens the sense of voyeurism for the viewer, making the compositions more enticing, with the viewer more actively engaged.

The psychological moment captured resonates with the viewer, not necessarily in a comfortable way. Sometimes the viewer is actively being engaged with threatening behaviour or witnessing moments of tension or struggle.

How would you describe the difference in the treatment of Texture and Form within a Dynamic Realist artwork?

Dynamic Realism seeks to explore the boundaries between thickness of paint, texture and accuracy. The thickness of the paint used is guided by perspective and the form of the subject. Hyper or Photo- realism makes no attempt to move beyond a flat painted technique for the portrayal of its subject. In the rare occasion that thicker paint is applied, it is not in alignment with the texture or perspective of the surface of the subject being portrayed in its environment.

Being conscious of a subjects form and applying the paint or pencil accordingly intensifies the effect and the sense of the form, creating a more striking illusion of reality with a three-dimensional appearance. For example: the direction and contours of hair across the form of a skull.

Dynamic Realism uses the subject and a composition's overall perspective to engineer the depth of paint possible to provide the most effective sense of three-dimension to the viewer.

Is the creation process of the composition different in a Dynamic Realist artwork compared to Hyper or Photo-realism?

Yes. When capturing motion and psychology of a subject the method of understanding and executing the composition has a flow and by understanding this 'flow' the greater then the effect you can create with the overall composition.

This natural pattern of execution is very different from copying a landscape whether from life or from using captured photographic images as in the case of Hyper or Photo-realistic artists. This patterning is different for every composition, as it is determined by the subject and its relation to perspective. To create a Dynamic Realist artwork means you have to be consciously aware of perspective and form continuously to ensure that the three-dimension caused by the painted surface does not contradict the illusion perceived by the viewer.



Is there any difference in the colour and tonal understanding or the aim of the colour application within a Dynamic Realist artwork?

In hyper or photo-realistic artworks often the luminosity of the colour of the natural world is lost or compromised because the paint is applied thinly. One of the core preoccupations with Dynamic Realism is accuracy of colour application to real 'life'.

This colour sensitivity has been grown in relation to perspective, form and therefore depth of paint. The richness and inherent qualities of oil paint are exploited, colours are mixed to the limits of warmth and coldness using the purest colour combinations. The depth of paint is built up so colours remain 'pure' to the world they portray. The result is a luminosity of colour and the illusion of light generation within compositions.

Why did you create Dynamic Realism?

I created Dynamic Realism to achieve not just a realistic likeness of a subject but to achieve that which has not gone before – to take a risk and to challenge my technical skill. This was the traditional approach of the Renaissance masters, who found themselves engaged competitively with each other, to be able to create the illusion of the real in the most convincing and impacting way for their patrons.

I felt that Hyper or Photo-realism had stopped developing as a genre, that there were many good artists who have and continue to produce beautiful aesthetic pieces of realism but, where was the advancement of technique? Where was the technical challenge? Where were the demanding visionary patrons?

In a world where people are greeted with sophisticated media that sparks viewers senses in a manner realism used to in the days before photography, where was the relevance of painted or drawn realism, where was it's impact in our contemporary age? Patrons seemed distracted, greater illusions and pleasing effects could be gained elsewhere, and realist artists simply reproduced what had gone before.

Dynamic Realism challenges patrons visions in the contemporary world. It inspires them to explore their world, to pause on a moment of time and feel what a subject means in that moment. Cultural, historical and ecological subjects are the 'life' that is, and the 'life' that has been.

Dynamic Realism aims to encourage our understanding of the world, whether it be acutely - the light within a subject, the colour and texture or the broader speaking subject of the composition itself that carries contextual importance.


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