Photorealism is a painting style that emerged in Europe and the USA in the late 1960s, characterised by its painstaking detail and precision

  • Andrew Grassie, 'Tate New Hang 6' 2005
    Andrew Grassie
    Tate New Hang 6 2005
    Tempera on paper
    support: 150 x 230 mm
    Purchased with funds provided by the Charities Advisory Trust 2006© Andrew Grassie

Photorealism rejected the painterly qualities by which individual artists could be recognised, and instead strove to create pictures that looked photographic. Visual complexity, heightened clarity and a desire to be emotionally neutral led to banal subject matter that likened the movement to pop art.

Artists associated with photorealism include the painter Chuck Close and Richard Estes and Malcolm Morley.

The early 1990s saw a renewed interest in photorealism, thanks to new technology in the form of cameras and digital equipment which offered more precision. Younger artists practising this technique today include Raphaella Spence, Clive Head, Andrew Grassie and Bertrand Meniel.