The Art of Realism

Do not Mistake these for Photographs, Artist Patrick Kramer Brings His Paintings to Life

‘I hope a viewer of my work appreciates the craft and process of painting and the performance behind the creation of hyperrealistic works,’ artist Patrick Kramer told us.

With meticulous attention to detail, Patrick captures the bends and folds of everyday, 3 dimensional objects, to produce stunningly realistic, photograph-like work. Although some of his smaller pieces can take 1 weeks to complete, some can take up to 6 weeks, such as his “Salt Lake Library”, in which he worked 50 hour weeks.

From intimate objects, such as flowers and eggs patched up with band-aids, to goldfish in glasses, to gracefully falling women – these paintings look more striking than they would, had they been snapped with the latest technology.

We talked memories, feelings and photography with Patrick.

The Plus: What are your earliest artistic memories as a child?
Patrick Kramer:
I drew a lot as a child, mostly copying animals from National Geographic Magazines, ninja turtles, airplanes, and typical little boy things.

TP: How did those memories form the artist you are today?
Looking back, I think I drew things I was interested in to be able to somehow possess that object in a way that is only attainable through observational drawing / painting. In some ways, I think that’s still my motivation today. I can take a thousand photographs, but I never feel like the image is really “mine” until I’ve painted it.

TP: How do you feel whilst you’re painting?
If things are going well, it can be very relaxing. I listen to audiobooks and music while I paint, so I’m pretty much on autopilot, my mind in another place. If things aren’t going well, if it’s taking longer than I thought, if I have to redo certain areas, it’s very frustrating.

TP: How does photography play a role in your work?
I take a lot of photographs for my paintings, but they are just a means to an end. There is a quote from Gerhard Richter that I like: “Perhaps because I’m sorry for the photograph, because it has such a miserable existence even though it is such a perfect picture, I would like to make it valid, make it visible—just make it […] That is why I keep painting on and on from photographs, because I can’t make it out, because the only thing to do with photographs is paint from them.”