The photorealistic paintings of Glennray Tutor

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Drawn! brought my attention to the paintings of Glennray Tutor.

It's easy to dismiss photo-realist work as an exercise in surface obsession, but Glennray Tutor, a Jedi warrior of the style, has to be admired for his dedication to what Yeats called 'the fascination with what's difficult.'

Glennray Tutor


  1. Anyone who would dismiss photorealistic painting out of hand is an idiot. That painting with the marbles is beautiful.

  2. “Photorealistic” is perhaps not accurate– the colors on those Mason/Ball jars is weirdly off, and I think that’s what makes it so appealing (to me anyway.) Maybe “hyper-realistic” is better, as in “excited or exaggerated realism.” His palette is certainly not realistic, more cartoonish.

  3. Candy, toys, fireworks and pickles! What’s not to like?

    I love good photorealism. I’ve always been a big fan of Estes. I love the way, when you step close to the painting, it breaks down into big-ass gobs of paint that look like he just threw them down. Yet when you step back, it all becomes a cohesive image. That’s painterly badass, IMO.

    And on that note, I really would like to see this stuff in real life. I do like to get close and peer at the brushwork.

  4. It’s a bit like the colour effect you get from Tilt shift lenses. It makes everything look like an old toy.

  5. i overheard a saying once – ‘a man’s only true home is his childhood’

    this fellow seems to spend a lot of time at home…

  6. I had long been dismissive of photo-realism in painting as well, but eventually I realized that it wasn’t the realism that I was opposed to, it was the lack of personality, i.e. artist’s distinct voice. Some photo-realistic painting is boring because it makes no effort to communicate anything interesting, being satisfied with impressive representation. To me that is being a technician, not an artist. But there is plenty of photo-realistic painting that goes much further, and can be highly emotive.

    Also, I agree with ill lich above who points out the palette/lighting depicted here is far from realistic… almost hyper-real

    Anyway, nice evocative work and astounding skill.

  7. Folks who have no respect for “technical skill” drive me nuts every time. This is just my opinion, but a great work of art often involves both stunning “skill” AND a great idea. Great ideas are a dime a dozen . . . developing the skill to present the idea requires effort, like most things in life worth anything.

    It’s like those three million folks we’ve all met who have a great idea for a novel but don’t actually sit down to work at it.

  8. Forgive me the pedantry, but isn’t “the fascination of what’s difficult” what Yeats bashes in his poem? After all, he says it has “Has dried the sap from my veins, and rent / Spontaneous joy and natural content / Out of my heart.”

    But yeah, I have nothing against photorealism. Not always my cup o’ tea but it can be put to great use in surrealist works (Dali’s Living Still Life, for example).

    1. But Yeats also said “a photorealistic painting may take us hours maybe, / but if it does not seem a moment’s snapshot, / all of our mechanical skill has been naught.” Or something.

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