Before photographs, life was documented through paintings. It was the only way to create images that captured life. However, following the invention of photography, painters had a greater artistic license to abstract and explore the medium. As we see a resurgence of photorealistic paintings, we often look for something in the works that takes them beyond a photograph.
Dutch artist, Jantina Peperkamp, begins her portraits with a photo shoot, which is followed by sketches and then acrylic paint. Although the work begins with a photograph, there is a distillation process as the painting develops. The artist explains, “All the unnecessary is stripped off with the intention to maintain only the essential.” Despite the realism of the works, we see the subtle manipulation of the image from which the artist draws the viewer’s focus.
Paintings may have been the precursor to photographs, but in works such as these we see that paintings can also become an evolution beyond photography.