25+ Mind-Blowing Hyperrealistic Paintings

Inspired by photorealism, hyperrealism is a contemporary school of painting that evokes the illusion of photography. With advancements in cameras, lenses, and digital equipment, artists have been able to be far more precision-oriented in their practice, culminating in an entirely new genre of contemporary art that makes you do a double take.

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What the hell did I watch? The killing of the sacred deer.

I saw a movie advertised starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell and I went in blind. I did not watch the trailer, I did not read the reviews, I did however have a peek at the 8.1 rating on IMDB and I sighed happily. I was in for a good movie.

“Sacred Deer” stars Colin Farrell as a surgeon whose life unravels after he befriends the son of a former patient. The son is played by “Dunkirk” star Barry Keoghan in a performance of such unsettling intensity that you won’t be able to get his face out of your head. Nicole Kidman plays Farrell’s wife, while Sunny Suljic and Raffey Cassidy star as his children.



I could immediately tell something was wrong with this movie. The soundtrack did not match the action, the actors were speaking in a monotone voice – much like robots, and the discussions they were having weren’t the ones that ordinary people had.

The film begins with Steven performing open-heart surgery. After surgery, he talks to Matthew, his anesthesiologist, about watches. I mean, really talks about them. How much they cost, what type of strap is better, how much they can go underwater – at this point thinking I stumbled into a well disguised advert…

Then Steven meets a teenager called Martin at a diner. Steven seems to be some kind of mentor to Martin and has bought Martin the watch that he discussed with the anesthesiologist. At this point I was thinking – Who is this boy? Is he an estranged son? They’re talking about haircuts… after the watch was given and a hug was exchanged, I started thinking that maybe that expensive watch was a payment for something. Maybe the young boy was his lover? Maybe he was in a gay secret relationship and it made sense for an older guy to have a young lover.

I was trying to make sense and it seemed that the movie was doing its best to keep me from figuring out what was going on.

Steve then goes home to have dinner with his family. His family looked nice enough, a teenage daughter and a boy about 10-11 years old.

I was like “yeah! finally some Nicole Kidman!”.
My enthusiasm was growing slightly and then it plummeted when Steve and his wife went to the bedroom, closed the door, she pretended to be under general anesthesia and he jerked off to her limp body.
I was like “EWWWW! GROSS”. I was even more grossed out when he pulled her panties down and I had a full view of Nicole’s vagina. I DID NOT WANT TO SEE THAT!

Later on we see them at a Gala, Nicole looks stunning BTW, long legs, black dress and looking every bit like a surgeon’s wife. Steve gives a speech and then meets up with his anesthetist friend and suggest they have an early night as they have surgery the next day. During the conversation, you hear the odd thing slipping out like:
“My daughter is now menstruating”
Like WTF! What kind of a deranged parent tells that to strangers at a Gala dinner!


Well, apparently that’s not bad enough. Steve invites the boy to his house and after having dinner with the family, he retreats to the children’s room where he shows the young brother his armpit hair, the girl tells him she’s menstruating and then the brother says he doesn’t have as much hair on his chest as his father does. Who in the world wrote the script!?

Bob Murphy: [to Martin] Have you got hair under your arms yet?

Martin: Yes.


Kim Murphy: I’ve just got my first period.

It’s not even yet reached his critical point and I’m thinking about walking out…

The creepiness continues as the doctor accepts an invitation Marcus makes to see his mother and have dinner with them and then watch tv.
“You have really nice hands. Doctor’s hands” She then proceeds to suckle on his fingers and he has to nearly knock her down to get her off his hands…
I started to hear exclamations from the row in front of me: “What the fuck are we watching?” That’s the exact question I was asking myself.

The next day, the boy turns into a stalker. Shows up at his office, demands to be examined as he’s feeling bad (his heart is beating fast) and then tells him casually that his mom fancied him (nevermind that the doctor is married) and invites him over again.

Martin: My mom’s attracted to you. She’s got a great body.

When the doctor refuses, he feels betrayed but walks off.


The next day, his boy can’t get out of bed and can’t feel his legs. They rush him to the hospital to get help and he finds out that it’s all in the boy’s mind, there’s nothing wrong with him and only when he collapses again when walking out of the hospital, he gets a bed. The creepy teenager appears again, tells the doctor that he knows that he killed his father on the operating table and he wants him to pick a member of his family that will be killed in return.

Anna meets with the anesthesiologist, and he says he remembers Steven having two drinks the morning before operating on Martin’s father. He says when someone dies, it is never his fault, but the fault of the surgeon. He then makes Anna do him a sexual favor as payment for the information he provided (a handjob in the car).

It’s the classical problem: leave all his family to die or pick a member to pay the price. His daughter is next to be committed, can’t walk, refuses to eat and is on her way to starving to death. As they can’t find a cure for whatever they are suffering, the children are released at home and this is when they find out the decision that their dad has to make. They all start trying to flatter him to avoid having to die. Bob cuts his hair himself and says he wants to be a cardiologist. Little shit.

Anna Murphy: Our children are dying, but yes. I can make you mashed potatoes.

I though the movie could not be any worse, until they introduced a blind guy with a piano (not Ray Charles), to bang the keys in a dissonant manner every 5 seconds or so. It was loud and it did not fit in. I was packing my bags at this point prepared to leave when the scene changed to the couple’s garage where Steve, the doctor, had kidnapped the boy and tied him to a chair and started beating him up… I suppose to tell him how he managed to inflict a psychosomatic disease onto his kids…

It was when the kid BIT A PART OF HIS ARM OFF that I knew I had enough. Fuck the metaphors, let’s just scream the meaning of the movie in the audience’s face so that they don’t have to use their brains. And possibly use that blind guy on the keys again!


How it ends (a friend told me after I walked out):

At night, when everyone is asleep, Kim drags herself down to the basement and asks Martin to let her walk again so they can run away together. Steven and Anna wake up and notice that Kim is not in her bed and they check every room, and she is nowhere to be found. They go down to the basement, and she is not there either. Steven asks Martin what he did to her. They start driving around the neighborhood and eventually find her dragging herself along with her knees/legs bleeding.

The next day, Anna says she has set Martin free, and then Bob’s eyes start bleeding. It is now time for Steven to make his choice. He tapes up his family members and puts pillowcases over their heads and then seats them in the living room. He stands in the middle of them with a rifle and pulls a beanie down over his face before spinning in a circle and firing the rifle randomly. He does this a few times, only hitting furniture in the house, until the final time when we see blood begin to stream down from under Bob’s pillowcase. In the next scene, Steven, Anna, and Kim are eating in the diner where Steven used to meet with Martin. Martin walks in and sits at the bar and looks back at them. The family gets up and leaves.


Now let’s see some of the praises for this piece of shit movie:

Go watch it on the big screen. Experience it, then see it again, and let its brilliance wash over you. I don’t say this often, but to me, this is an instant classic.

As usual in a surreal dissection of privileged complacency, the hollow house, an emasculating masturbation motif, and emotional negligence work together to undermine the surface happiness of wealth and power.

Origins of the title:


This film is full of brilliant metaphors, but you have to know Greek mythology and history to understand some of them. When Agamemnonas wanted to go to Troy to fight with his ships, there was no wind and he could’t get there. So he asked the Gods to throw some strong winds, but the Gods replied that he had to sacrifice something in order to get the winds he desired, so they told him he had to kill his daughter. Agamemnonas thought about it and he decided to kill his daughter, but when he was just about to kill her, the gods transformed her into a deer, so he killed a sacred deer.


If you have masochist trends I am sure you will like this film

Revolutionary Romania – The painting

There is one painting in the Bucharest National Museum of Art which I still think about, a few months after my visit there.

It’s a painting of a woman, leading a revolution..
It’s a painting of Maria Rosetti (the wife of his best friend C.A. Rosetti), wearing a folk costume. You can see the tri-color flag (red, yellow and blue) in her hand and you can see a burning hill behind her (Dealul Spirii). It’s dated 1850 and holds the name of “C. Rosenthal/ Jeune Valaque”.
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WTF did I just watch? Starring Kit Harrington in Doctor Faustus

I went and dished out nearly £45 to see an appalling play. I’m the idiot here. I followed the raving reviews this show got and I got tempted by the beautiful Kit Harrington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones – Jon Snoooooo) and I felt like darting out the door at the interval. The money I paid kept me in my seat.


Kit Harrington playing Dr. Faustus Continue reading “WTF did I just watch? Starring Kit Harrington in Doctor Faustus”

The rabbits of Salisbury Cathedral

There’s a monumental treat in store for visitors to the Cathedral, who’ll encounter the latest exhibition by internationally renowned sculptor Sophie Ryder.

Life-sized Minotaurs and Lady Hares can be seen the Cathedral lawn and in the cloisters, a 20ft high arch formed by massive clasped hands and called The Kiss looms on the Cathedral’s North side, and Rising, a gigantic Lady Hare with a small hare protected inside her, crouches on the grass adjacent to the West Front.

These enormous works are part of a major two stage show, Relationships: An exhibition by Sophie Ryder, which opened on Friday 12 February and runs until 3 July.

“The Lady Hare ‘mask’ and the Minotaur head are a way of concealing the identity of the figures in the sculptures” she explains, “otherwise it would always be me or one of my family. It is better for people to make up their own story and project their own relationships onto the sculptures. They also allow me to explore the physical side of relationships more easily because they are half animal, which is somehow less shocking.”

Sophie is showing work made in a wide range of sizes and materials, even ‘drawings’ in wire, but the gigantic hands, feet and eyes that are another of her trademarks are testament to the fact that she enjoys working on a monumental scale.

“I get a thrill from working ‘big’ but I also want the pieces, while huge, to be transparent, allowing you to see through them” she says. “It is also exciting to have the combination of sizes in the particular Cathedral setting. I like to show my work in both rural and urban settings but very often in urban settings, especially one like Salisbury, the work needs to be monumental to compete with the Cathedral otherwise it would be dwarfed by it.”

The church of Saint Mary of the Rosary (La chiesa di Santa Maria del Rosario)

Santa Maria del Rosario (St. Mary of the Rosary), commonly known as I Gesuati, is an 18th-century Dominican church in the Sestiere of Dorsoduro, on the Giudecca canal in Venice, northern Italy. The classical style building has a well-lit interior and is exceptional in preserving its original layout and Rococo decoration intact. The church and almost all its sculpture and paintings were created within a thirty-year period: construction began in 1725, the church was consecrated in 1743, and the last sculptural decoration was in place by 1755.

Almost all the sculpture in the church is the work of Giovan Maria Morlaiter, a sculptor from over the Alps, whom Hugh Honour describes as “one of the ablest sculptors in eighteenth century Venice”[23] and Semenzato as “the most brilliant interpreter of the rococo in Venetian sculpture” adding that “His work shows great dynamism” and “an inexhaustible felicity of invention”. There is more of his work in the church than anywhere else in Venice.

Monks from Sienna from the order of The Blessed Giovanni Colombino established themselves here in 1392. In 1423 they built an oratory and cloister dedicated to Saint Jerome.  (They had previously occupied the nearby church of Sant’Agnese.) A proper church and monastery were built here by the Poor Gesuati order (as they now called themselves) from 1494, consecrated 1524 and dedicated to Our Lady of the Visitation. The order was suppressed in 1668 and in 1669 the Dominicans bought the place and got Giorgio Massari to build the present, much larger, church, beginning work in 1726, to the east of the old church, and finishing it in 1743. The newer church became a parish church when the order was suppressed in 1815, to replace the nearby suppressed churches of San Vio and San Gregorio.

The church
This was architect Massari’s first major commission in Venice. The niches on the façade (a heavier and more theatrical reflection of the façade of the Redentore church opposite) contain large statues depicting the four virtues. A stone relief of the dead Christ supported by two Angels set into the side wall of the church (seen to the right in the photo right) may be from the original church.

The interior, like the façade, is modelled on the Redentore. It consists of an aisleless nave with six connecting side chapels, three either side, full of exceptional 18th Century art. The effect of the walls and detailing is pale grey, getting darker for the domed chancel, with it’s unplain tabernacle by Massari.

Art highlights
This church is a treat for Tiepolo fans, with a fine altarpiece in the first chapel on the right depicting the Madonna and Three (female Dominican)
Saints, and some Dominic-related ceiling paintings well worth the neck ache, or the easier perusal using the handily provided (and precisely
shaped) floor-standing mirror. Also two by Piazzetta, a good one by Sebastiano Ricci, depicting Saints Pius V, Aquinas and Peter Martyr, and a badly restored Tintoretto Crucifixion which came from the nearby Santa Maria della Visitazione.

Joseph Klibansky Art show in Venice

I went to Venice this weekend and was surprised to see the artist who decorated some of the terminal paths in Gatwick airport London – Joseph Klibansky- having an exhibit at the Palazzo Franchetti in Venice!

The often-perceived soothing prettiness of Klibansky’s work can be experienced as positively numbing the senses of the viewer.  An image that in first instance looks harmless and merely pretty is actually a smoke curtain for the real matter at hand, an open mind can attempt to peel back the multi coloured layers of eye candy and distil the core of the message.


Joseph Klibansky


Joseph Klibansky makes large-scale, idealistic digital paintings that are built up through hundreds of layers of photography enriched with acrylic paint on archival cotton paper overlaid with a liquid resin. His work conveys a layering and compression of time, space and place creating new narratives by creating dreamy images of cities, combining past and future, with a dramatic dynamism that for the artist becomes a way of signifying his perception of the rapidly changing digital culture as well as suggesting an unravelling of his personal biography. Continue reading “Joseph Klibansky Art show in Venice”