Taking inspiration from historical African sculpture with notes of modern luxury, Brooklyn based artist Kip Omolade has created an outstanding oil painting series that are almost indistinguishable from photography.
Each artwork is hugely intensive, beginning with a cast taken from actual models, evolving into stylised chrome masks which are photographed, serving as the guide to Omolade’s hyperrealistic painting.
Oil painting or real life? The mind-bending, hyperrealistic artwork of Kip Omolade straddles the fine line between the two like no other.
Whereas most modern works of hyperrealism are still life paintings of everyday objects, Omolade’s use of a surreal subject matter enhances the practice. By using a model that is unfamiliar, a viewer’s brain reacts differently, unable to notice the usual giveaways that pen an artwork as oil on canvas.
Read Omolade’s statement on his Diovadiova Chrome series below:
Diovadiova Chrome portraits historically connect to ancient, realistic African sculptures such as Benin ivory masks and Ife bronze heads. The oil paintings are psychological studies that investigate immortality, the universal masks we all wear and contemporary notions of beauty and luxury. The labor-intensive process involves making a mold and cast of each model’s face, reworking the cast plaster sculpture, producing a version in resin and adding a chrome layer with artificial eyelashes. The final sculpture then serves as a model for the hyper-realistic oil painting. This technique maintains the likeness qualities of portraiture while re-presenting a mask that serves as a conduit between the spiritual and natural world.