Making a REAL Impact - 3 Photorealists to Watch

Photorealism is the rejection of individual painterly qualities, creating photographic images instead. This heightened precision and visual complexity combined with the aspiration to be emotionally neutral links the genre with pop art. At Hancock Gallery we have chosen three artists currently leading the way is photorealism

SJ Fuerst

American artist SJ Fuerst creats imagery of a surreal world filled with inflatable fire and animals; coupled with models that look incredibly real. So much so that you would expect them to wink at you whilst you admire. Heavily inspired by contemporary culture, pop art and fashion, Fuerst's work is both beautiful and fun, whilst intertwining traditional technique with modern subjects. Fuerst has studied all over the world, starting in New York studying painting, then onto Florence and finally to London where she studied representational art. It’s clear that with over 30 exhibitions internationally and with work held in many private collections Fuerst’s art is loved worldwide but the truth is, she is only getting started.  

Stephen Johnston

Born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland Stephen Johnston’s hyper realistic paintings bring together everyday objects juxtaposed against one and other. In turn, creating new narratives that are in the realm of the surreal. Johnston’s thought-provoking imagery has gained him critical acclaim early in his career, winning an array of awards including: The De Veres Art Award, The Towry Award- best from Northern Ireland at the NOAC and The KPMG Young Artist Award. Johnston has exhibited all across the world from the Saatchi Gallery in London to Paris and Brisbane, Australia. Johnston has also completed a portrait commission for Queen's University that is currently hanging as part of their esteemed collection in the ‘great hall’.  

Justin Coburn 

Justin Coburn is a British artist from the North East of England, known for his evanescent and ambiguous animal studies. His push pull painting technique allows the audience to question man’s relationship to nature, the familial friendships we form with animals, as well as the symbolic and religious roles they play within our lives. Coburn’s work is highly sought and sits in many private collections. In 2018, Coburn was the runner up in Wildlife Artist of the Year and received the Lyon and Turnbull Award for Painting at the 2018 Royal Scottish Academy Open. He was also selected for the 2018 New Light Prize Exhibition at the Bankside Gallery, London.


Our exhibition Doing:unDoing featured celebrated local and international artists examining aspects of popular culture, consumerism and politics throughout their works, including Stephen Johnston. This exhibition has now come to a close, we will continue to host similar events with artists at the gallery. View our latest exhibitions.



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