Hyperreal painting Glenn Close by artist Peterson

    Denis Peterson worked as a commercial illustrator for several years, creating art for EXXON and its 139 affiliate companies. He later taught lifesize figure drawing at Pratt Institute where he attained a Painting MFA while restoring 16th and 17th Century Flemish painting collections.

    One of the first Photorealists to emerge in New York, Peterson introduced a revolutionary painting methodology in his work: airbrushing polymers (which have since become an industry standard airbrush medium). Peterson's groundbreaking "cropped image" figurative paintings and his lifesize phone booth series were featured in a premiere Photorealist exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, the first of several noteworthy museums that would exhibit his work.

    Years later, he pioneered a new painting genre based on extensive studies of literary works on Hyperreality by the noteworthy French philosopher, Jean Baudrillard. This splinter art movement which he named Hyperrealism was stylistically derived from Photorealism, sparking an art phenomenon and burgeoning a world-wide following of artists.

    Following the introduction of Hyperrealism, a new generation of American and European artists was producing portraits and still lifes that provided stunning degrees of clarity. But what set these works apart from their Photorealist predecessors was that Hyper-realist artists had no interest in recreating a scene from a photograph. Instead, they constructed a fiction comprised of a variety of images and details culled from multiple sources, much in the way Synthetist artists in the Post-Impressionism era would create paintings derived de tête (from memory or imagination) rather than from any visual aid, natural or otherwise. No longer satisfied with an art-for-art's sake approach to realist cityscapes and the like, Denis Peterson used the medium as a vehicle for social change, oftentimes conjuring themes of corruption, decadence, and genocide in his subject matter.

    A radical painter, Peterson addresses the timeless human condition with precision, dignity and compelling virtuosity. It is not only the hierarchy of the arts this artist intends to upset, but real social paradigms. He leveraged advancements in high-resolution photography to achieve heightened levels of detail, further complicating the notion of realism by mixing the seemingly objective with the artificial and the subjective.

    His Hyperrealist paintings articulated an advanced vision of reality as a commodification of society, a second-stage simulachrum. This was performed whilst abandoning Photorealism's more traditional aesthetic conventions which had routinely idealized and objectified the same cultural icons in somewhat detached and banal frameworks. He intentionally emphasized familiar signs and images which did not in fact faithfully reveal true reality. Instead, he coalesced these alternate perceptions of realities into subliminal depictions of contemporary cultures and boldly launched them in his new body of work as Hyperreality.

    Gottfried Helnwein, Denis Peterson and Craig Wylie are hyperrealist artists who use their work to send a social message. These artists aggressively and unapologetically confront the human condition with their hyperrealist narrative which serves as a commentary on social and political issues. An exception would be Denis Peterson, whose astonishing paintings of poverty and marginality pose as call-to-action photographs. See, for example, Tombstone Hand and a Graveyard Mind in his exhibition Don't Shed No Tears. He brought unacknowledged subjects to the gallery, but his works are arresting, forcing viewers to confront genocide, homelessness and totalitarianism. They are simply deserving of having their likenesses recorded as any famous person's, and more importantly, of having their humanity recognized.

    Denis Peterson's timeless compositions lead the pack in Hyperrealism painting; there is no denying the high level of technical prowess required for this unique creative process. The fundamental component is not necessarily the painting subject, but man's proximity to it. His collective body of work centers on the indefatigable human spirit - these socially conscious paintings are the products of an extraordinary labor of compassion.

    Painters like Estes, Peterson, Flack, and Close often worked from photographic stills to create paintings that appeared to be photographs. Masters of the genre like Chuck Close and Denis Peterson are praised for their skill and ability to transform their vision into an astounding piece of art. Both painters utilized advanced airbrushing techniques in order to achieve a smooth and precise photographic surface quality in their work.

    Typically, Close worked from a black and white photograph which he would divide into many smaller units by means of a grid. He then transposed the grid onto a much larger canvas and meticulously reproduced each section of it. The result was a monumental, close-up view that forced an uncomfortable intimacy upon the viewer.

    Peterson's work, on the other hand, conveys a sense of inwardness and refective self-consciousness; it differs from the idealizing, more deadpan aspect of figures in Photorealism which appear either fetishistic or as mere individuals. In creating these painstaking, handmade works, Peterson is working in an artistic tradition that goes as far back as the Renaissance. The results speak for themselves.

    Denis Peterson's revolutionary Hyperreal paintings are lauded by museums, galleries, universities, and art connoisseurs worldwide. He is a Juror for internationally acclaimed art competitions and exhibitions held at the MEAM European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona.


    Museums and Auctions: Sotheby's, Pierre Bergé & Associés Paris/Brussels, National Galleries of Scotland, Tate Modern, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, CZ Museum of Modern Art, European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Brooklyn Museum, Butler Institute of American Art, National Gallery of Art, State Tretyakov Gallery Moscow, Central House of Artists, Daejon Museum of Art, Springville Museum

    Catalogued exhibition venues: New York City, DC, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Garden City, Southampton, Youngstown, Alexandria, Montclair, Miami, Williamsport, San Francisco, Chicago, Zürich, London, Milan, Como, Brussels, Paris, Moscow and Czech Republic.

    Published Books: Cave Painting to Street Art - Rizzoli Publishing, Une Street Historie de l'art - Editions Gallimard, Art: The Whole Story - Thames & Hudson Publishers, American Culture in the 1980's - Edinburgh University Press, A Hyperreal Perspective on Painting - Thames and Hudson, Hyperrealism: When Reality Becomes an Illusion - Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, Fascination with Reality, Hyperrealism - Olomouc Museum of Art

    Print Media: Canada Globe and Mail, Deseret News, Al Jazeera, Illustrato Magazine, Fine Art Magazine, Poets & Artists - USA Today, Wikipedia, The Art Story, Art Info, Numéro Cinc, UK Daily Mail, NY Examiner, UK Telegraph, Empty Kingdom, European Union Times, American Art Collector, Art & Antiques, Art Miami Magazine, Huffington Post

    Broadcast Media: Australian News MSN TV, BBC TV, WOR TV, FOX TV, WVIA, WVYA, Cable News 12