Kang Hyung-koo's hyper-realistic portraits of famou people such as Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol and Audrey Hepburn are actually works of composite-realism rather than photo-realism. Kang belives that simply reproducing and duplcating photographs diminishes the value of painting. Instead, the artist's hyper-realistic technique allows for delicate expressions that cannot be captured in a photograph, such as strands of hair and wrinkles. Through this detailed portrayal that is more real than what can be revealed through a photograph, the artist blows life into the canvas. Rather than dealing with the issue of the surface, the Kang's dramatic images psychologically overwhelm and stimulate the viewer through powerful colors and recurring visual distortions. His works are drenched with compassion for the strongwilled figures who have fought through the harships of life and histoty. The deep eyes of the subjects in Kang's portraits gracefully reveal their inner worlds and the trace of time they have lived through.
Text courtesy Arario Gallery.