Jeremy Eden, the Hyper Real Deal

“Hyperrealism can create an atmosphere of surrealism because nobody sees the world in such detail.” Salman Rushdie

The first time I came across Brisbane artist Jeremy Eden, he was a finalist in the Marie Ellis Prize for Drawing. He didn’t take out the main prize that year, but I did award him “Best Art Wank” for the didactic panel accompanying his work. He took it pretty well all things considered, saying he was just happy to have won anything at all!

Fast forward a year, and the talented bugger didn’t need any input from me – he won the whole shebang outright with a self-portrait of himself wrapped in plastic, a la Laura Palmer. It was an extraordinary drawing, intense and self-assured. I’ve been following him ever since.

Hyper-realistic artists like  Eden are not simply engaged in recreating precisely the photographs they work from. Rather, they elevate these images to a point just beyond realism, turning reality into illusion and adding significance to the narrative elements of the original. It’s an aspect of their art practice that philosopher Jean Baudrillard would have described as the “simulation of something which never really existed.” And they say hyperrealism requires no imagination…

For Eden, who works in extreme close up, the result is even more startling due to the sheer scale of his work. Rendered larger than life, his portraits capture the emotion, energy and minute detail that our own eyes and minds can’t possibly fathom. In that regard, Eden’s work is both extraordinary in its own right, and a biting reminder of the magnitude of details we miss about people in the ordinary course of a day.

To see more of Jeremy Eden’s work, check out his Facebook page Jeremy Eden Artwork.

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