Lifelike paintings are something that will never cease to amaze us. Creating such paintings, Chinese artist Leng Jun is a master of hyperrealism. The well-known painter is known for his detailed oil paintings of women where every little thing is rendered to perfection. Born in 1963, Leng came of age during a time of great economic reform known as the Opening of China. His art is greatly inspired by this great cultural change and the Western influences it introduced.
He was interested in art from a very young age. He first experimented with oil paint while he was still in middle school. At the time, no oil paints were readily available in China. However, a friend gave him a few colors with which he experimented. His early experiments stayed with him.
He continued with his studies, being updated with the information form the West which helped him shape and mould himself as a painter.
“For people like me who were born around the 1960s, we were teenagers at the time when we formed our worldview. That was a great opportunity. Looking back, reform and opening-up really saved the soul of our generation,” said Leng.
“At the time, information coming from the West greatly contributed to the enlightenment of our people. It also laid a very solid foundation for my later creations.”
Even though he was an acclaimed painter before, his work went viral after 2004. In 2004, the oil painting titled Mona Lisa helped him attract fame. This photorealistic portrait of a woman was based on the principals of Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic painting; however, it depicts a modern woman.
This highly notable masterpiece was followed by a series of photorealistic portraits of women. The details of the paintings, when closely examined, show the precise brushstrokes that pull out each aspect of the sitter.
There is criticism projected at these paintings too. They are critiqued for looking like photographs. However, Leng maintains that anyone seeing the paintings in person won’t be deceived. The intention is not to compete with photography; he just likes to push the boundaries of his art.
“I want to push my painting skills to a higher level. What is the most difficult thing? To paint people,” Leng told CGNT. “For example, still life or rusted metals, they’re not something we see every day. People deal with people the most and people are most familiar with people. To portray people and make others believe is the hardest thing.”
Watch these incredible demonstrations of Leng Jun painting his realistic portraits.
Hyperrealist artist Leng Jun paints an A&M student.