Richard Estes was part of a group of artist in the 1960s that first perfected the style of transforming paintings into exact copies of photographic images. The original Photorealists, as they were called, were a varied bunch, and each seemed to have a specialty: Chuck Close did giant faces, Ralph Goings favored Airstream trailers, and Audrey Flack painted still lifes of cosmetics. Estes’s subject was New York City, specifically the play of light on its myriad storefronts windows. He captured their kaleidoscopic reflections of the street with breathtaking precision, but he also trained his eye on neon signs, subway cars and department store escalators among other things. Estes’s 50-year career is the subject of “Richard Estes, Painting New York City,” on view at the Museum of Arts and Design through September 20. Catch it if you can, but in the meantime, here’s a selection of what you’ll see.
Check out these incredible New York street scenes by Richard Estes
Gotham is given an uncanny gloss in these unbelievably detailed paintings by the master photorealist