Italian-born artist Roberto Bernardi describes his work as hyperrealism, a meticulous branch of painting closely related to photorealism.
Going by the examples available in his online gallery, Bernardi is an expert in painting still lifes of chrome, plastic, glass and candy -- glossy textured objects that generally don't lend themselves to being captured realistically in oil on canvas.
Ben Dahl of men's shopping blog Cool Material may have compared Bernardi to a "human Kodak camera," but in the age of Instagram, to be a mere collector of life scenes doesn't carry much weight. Consider all the similar scenes you may have browsed on your feed.
What makes Bernardi's work interesting is his ability to elevate the mundane to the fantastical through intricate attention to detail, giving "weight and depth to translucent objects, creating drama in the overlapping forms and infinite reflections that they create," as Cuded noted. There's no schmaltzy retro filter applied, just an exacting eye for the interplay between textures and colors.
But the physical presence of the objects is just part of the intrigue. The juxtaposition of clutter and order, the organic and inorganic, become comments on postmodern life and the technology that facilitates it.
A selection of images of Bernardi's work was posted to a Reddit forum devoted to photography Jan. 16. While the post was wrongly categorized, most users didn't seem to mind. Some inquired about the artist's method, and others commented on the historical context of hyperrealism.
"I guess the hyperrealistic movement, as it relies a lot on precision and control, it's just a product of technical improvements on the medium (besides the social critique aspect of it)," wrote user "howlinpete." "I have no doubt that painters from earlier centuries could accomplish the same results given the same tools (Vermeer comes to mind), but they hadn't."
Bernardi's paintings are currently on display as part of group exhibits around the world. In May 2013, he will exhibit new work in a solo exhibition at the Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in New York.
Click through the gallery (above) to view samples of Bernardi's extraordinary work.
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