Simon Hennessey is a Birmingham, UK based artist who paints realistic images of famous landmarks around the world as reflected in the lenses of a pair of sunglasses.*
Like most hyper-realistic painters, Hennessey’s process starts with the camera. But instead of simply copying the photograph, the artist proceeds to add or remove details, depth, add textures, form and color values, thereby creating an illusion of a reality not seen in any photographic source. My Paintings therefore appear clearer and more distinct than a photograph. Constructing my own interpretations of a reality results in blurring the boundaries of what is real and what is made up, said Simon Hennessey. I use the camera only as a source to assist me with gathering information.
Cloud study #1 Acrylic, plexiglass and wood 20x20cm _ June 2014
A study and experiment with plexiglass to practice something that could be reflected in a sunglasses lens. The layers give the appearance of 3 dimensional forms, this photo has flattened the image somewhat but in reality the clouds appear to be floating over one another. If you move the light source the shadows will also move to.
I enjoyed the freedom of this piece and the clouds are built up purposely looser so that the mark making stands out and the illusionary depth happens clearer.
This is the first of a series of works using a new technique where the aim is to produce work that gives an illusion of shape and form through depth in a similar way to how a relief sculpture would do.
I've used translucent layers so that when all the elements of the image are seen together it looks as if certain parts fall back into the surface and other parts pop forward off the picture plane. It's in no way full on eye popping 3D and was never meant to be, it just plays around with the eyes a little bit and fools them into thinking the surfaces are uneven but in fact it is all illusionary as the surface is perfectly smooth and flat.
Most of the shadows in the image are natural and happen through light hitting the surface, changing the direction of the light will change the direction of the shadows too. The nostril up close gives the impression of a hole which you could actually stick your finger into it
Due to the glossy nature of the materials it is near impossible to get a photograph of the completed work accurately because of the glare and reflections that happen over the surface, this is the best I can do for now. I know it's not a great image and the photo has flattened the painting considerably to point of totally ruining the illusion. I will try and get another image when possible.
Thanks for looking
Chrysler through the optic. 40 cm diameter Acrylic and resin on board.
For this painting I tried a different working approach and I experimented with resin to see if I can use it to act as a sheet of glass through building up layers so that it gives some depth between the base image of the eye and the reflection in the glass.
You can kind of tell how the image of the reflected building has been painted and then sandwiched in between layers of resin which gives more depth and raises each layer off the previous layer so it becomes kind of relief sculptural in appearance and kind of resembles the view you would get from watching a 3D Television, However in reality its all illusionary as the picture plane is actually super smooth and flat.
Its near impossible to get a decent photograph of the completed painting due to the nature and glossiness of the resin. I've had to use a satin varnish over the piece to get a photograph which will now be removed and another final layer of resin will be added. It's still experimental work for me and as this is my first attempt I'm hoping I can improve the technique. I will definitely be trying it out again though and for the next resin piece I am going to try to paint a face and attempt to get some actual 3 dimensional shape and form into it.
Thanks for looking