By Hayley Pugh
These images may look like the result of a high-fashion photo shoot – but they are in fact PAINTINGS.
The beautiful girls in various poses are actually the result of thousands of tiny brushstrokes and the mastermind behind the fantastic images is Yigal Ozeri – a photorealist artist.
Yigal, who is from Israel and now lives in New York, specialises in producing incredible lifelike pictures and starting creating the realistic portraits 10 years ago.
The artist, who works from photographs, spends months at a time on each intricate image and says people are often shocked when they realise they are looking at a painting and not a photograph.
Yigal said: “I grew up in Israel. At the time, classical portraits weren’t taught in schools.
“There was no importance or value for figurative work. When I was 32-years-old I went to the Prado for the first time and I saw the Las Meninas piece and it was shocking.
“I was hypnotized. I then thought, how could I call myself a painter if I can’t paint a portrait?
“Painting a portrait is a big responsibility. One that I feel took me a long time to do. Since my teachers growing up didn’t teach that style I had to teach myself.
“Women have been some of the most prominent subjects in art history. From Mona Lisa, to the Girl with the Peal Earring, they posses an undeniable presence.
“My work deals with beauty. I try and focus on bringing back the intimacy to painting and I enjoy exploring the depth of romanticism.
“My work portrays women living in nature without malice. That’s what’s most important to me and perhaps more radical than the current trend for glamorized violence and destruction.
“My work has a lot of elements to it. I don’t just paint still moments.
“There is movement in my work. You can almost feel the wind and smell the grass. I enjoy creating those scenes and bringing the canvas to life.
“There are components of abstraction in the background allowing the subject to be the focal point. I enjoy painting that range of minimal to complex.
“People mistake my paintings for photographs all the time. And then once they come up close and see the brush strokes they realise it’s a painting.
“People are usually shocked when they see my work. They are amazed at the level of detail and the technical aspect. And I think there is something very honest and relatable with portraits. I think it’s easy to connect with the work.”
An exhibition of Yigal’s work is being held at the Opera Gallery in London from May 12 and May 25.