American, born 1932
Unlike many photorealist painters, Richard Estes uses neither a grid system nor a projector to transfer photographic images to canvas. Rather, he refers to multiple photographs of his subject as source materials. He sketches the entire scene with acrylic paint and builds upon it with oil paint, adding and sharpening details and polishing reflective surfaces. As in Supreme Hardware, the absence of narrative in Estes’s work challenges the viewer to confront the visual cacophony of urban life. His technique de-emphasizes the artist’s individual touch and stresses the impersonal and anonymous character of the big city.