Each time we feature hyper-realistic paintings on Information Nigeria, I think, “This is the best I’ve ever seen.” But then we get to see another artist’s work, and I’m amazed all over again. This time it’s the work of New York-based Israeli painter Yigal Ozeri. I’m still having a hard time believing that these paintings aren’t actually photographs of women.
Seriously, there’s no denying the fact that Ozeri’s taken hyperrealism to a whole new level. You can’t spot a single brushstroke in these photograph-inspired paintings, that’s how perfect his work is. He starts each piece by photographing beautiful women in nature-themed sceneries, while staying hidden at a safe distance from his models. Back at his studio, he alters the shots with Photoshop and prints them out. Using the prints as a reference, Ozeri then spends days recreating them with oil on canvas.
Ozeri has lived and painted in New York for the past 20 years. His inspiration comes from the Pre-Raphaelites – artists from 19th century England who celebrated nature. His paintings have been exhibited extensively in Israel, Europe, and the United States. His work is also a part of many prominent collections at Albertina Museum in Vienna, The Jewish Museum in New York, and Scheringa Museum of Realist Art in the Netherlands, among others.
In 2009, he displayed a series called ‘Desire for Anima’ at New York’s Mike Weiss Gallery – it was a tribute to Carl Jung’s concept of the unconscious or true inner self of an individual. His models for the series were women at a transitional phase between youth and maturity, and he portrayed their vulnerability in an almost dreamlike manner.
According to Ozeri, in a world of violence, romanticism and freedom are the answers. His paintings display just that – reminding us of the beautiful and the ideal as an effective antidote to everyday harshness.
Photos: Yigal Ozeri