Kang: Windows to the soul

South Korean artist Hyung Koo Kang is famous for his portraits of iconic, political, and historic figures using his hyper-realism techniques. His paintings have a stunning photo-realistic quality. One of the unique attributes of Kang's paintings is his ability to brilliantly capture the eyes that give his figures an amazing life like quality. 

This painting is oil on aluminum and is 99.2 x 52in. Louis Armstrong was a major influential American Jazz musician through 1920 to the 1960's. Though only a handful of his paintings may be seen in a museum showing, Kang has painted over a 1,000 paintings to help him attain his photo-realistic quality. Source: Singapore Art Museum. 2011, November 16. [Interview] Hyung Koo Kang: Burning Gaze. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/7Gy0bu
His painting of Albert Einstein is oil on canvas and is 259x194cm. German born and later immigrated to the USA, Einstein is an iconic theoretical physicist that is most know for developing the theory of relativity. Kang has the amazing ability to truly capture the exact likeness of the person. Like staring at a photo of Einstein, Kang is able to accurately portray his facial details, bone structure, and detailed facial muscles to paint an exact portrait.
Kang’s painting of legendary actor Clint Eastwood is oil on canvas that is 259.1 x 193.9cm. One of Kang’s notable techniques that sets him apart as an artist is his ability to hyper-realistically paint the eyes in stunning life like quality. Look closely at the detail of the eyes and notice how the eyes seem to glisten with natural moistness.
Callas is an oil on canvas painting that is 259 x 194cm. Maria Callas was a world renown American opera singer in the 20th century. One of Kang’s influences is famous pop artist Andy Warhol. “Callas” takes on noticeable similar traits as Warhol’s work such as the drastic color tone, shade, and the way it pops. Warhol had such an influence on Kang that he has even painted several portraits of Warhol.
Lincoln is an oil on canvas that is 260 x 194cm. Abraham Lincoln was America’s 16th president. In photography aperture controls the depth of field. Here is a simple example. If I take a portrait photo you can have the persons face in focus with the background out of focus or you have the persons face in focus and the background in focus too. Kang has an amazing ability to mimic aperture in his paintings the way a camera would in real life. Notice how Lincoln’s face is in focus and yet just past his past his cheekbones it begins to loose focus. This is an excellent example of photo-realism.
Kang’s “Deung” is paint with oil on canvas and is 259 x 194 cm. Deng Xiaoping was communist leader in China that had major influence after the leader of China Mao Zedong died. One aspect to notice about Kang’s hyper-realistic art is the incredible facial details. He often paints wrinkles, moles, and blemishes with extraordinary detail that goes beyond what you would even see in real life. This hyper-realism grabs the attention of the viewer to stop, examine, and discover what lies beneath the painting. Source: Singapore Art Museum. 2011, November 16. [Interview] Hyung Koo Kang: Burning Gaze. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/7Gy0bu
Super Man, is oil on canvas painting that is 260 x 194cm of famed actor Christopher Reeves who played the role of Super Man. One of the many reasons Kang stands out as a hyper-realistic artist is his amazing ability to paint captivating life like eyes. One of his techniques is to have slight color in the eyes. This helps to captivate your attention to the eyes.
This painting is oil on aluminum and is 240cm x 240 cm of famous actor, model, and singer Marilyn Monroe. One of Kang’s hyper-realistic techniques is the amazing detail you see in the way he paints hair. Note how Monroe’s hair is brilliant, elegant, and even detailed down to the single strand of hair!
Old Monroe was painted with oil on canvas and is 260 x 194cm. This painting is an interpretation of what Monroe would have looked like if she had lived to be an old woman. What I find interesting is that Kang paints this hyper-realistic portrait purely from his imagination! He builds together thousands of various facial elements to construct Old Monroe with amazing detail. Source: Singapore Art Museum. 2011, November 16. [Interview] Hyung Koo Kang: Burning Gaze. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/7Gy0bu
This is a self-portrait of the artist himself, Hyung Koo Kang. This painting is oil on canvas and is 2600 x 1940 cm. In an interview Kang said, “At first when the audience see my work they got surprised. But ultimately what I want at the end is for the audience to communicate with my paintings.” Source: Singapore Art Museum. 2011, November 16. [Interview] Hyung Koo Kang: Burning Gaze. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/7Gy0bu
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