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When an Artist Blows Your Mind: Hyperrealism Paintings by Stephen Shub

April 18, 2010

Artist, Stephen Shub

Artist Stephen Shub is one of the most soft-spoken, low-key and humble artists I’ve ever encountered. And given his incredible, obviously God-given talent, you might expect him to act as if he walked on water.

Not the case with Stephen Shub.  All Shub has ever wanted to be is an artist. And after forty years of pursuing his passion and a body of work that leaves most in awe, Stephen has undoubtedly earned the moniker.

I felt compelled to write something special about Stephen today because here’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, an artist with unbelievable talent, a professional whose work should be hanging in museums, yet he has had difficulty this past year selling his paintings.

Part of the problem may be that when people first encounter his work, they immediately assume that they are looking at a photograph. Not so. These are oil paintings, folks.

A few weeks ago, after promoting one of Stephen’s paintings on Twitter, we received the following message from another artist:

“Why would anybody bother painting something so realistic?”

I had to stop to think about this question for a moment, initially disregarding the comment as a common case of artists criticizing other artist’s work – something that quite frankly is the absolute bane of the art world. But, I did respond on Stephen’s behalf. The only reply I could come up with: “Because he can.”

Today, I reach out to collectors, designers, buyers and art lovers everywhere. Help us put Stephen Shub “on the map”.

Whether you’re a fan of Stephen’s hyperrealist work, or not, an artist of Shub’s caliber deserves our attention.

Steven Shub should be the poster child of “When an artist blows your mind.”

The Purest Energy by Stephen Shub

The Purest Energy by Stephen Shub

Sophia by Stephen Shub

Sophia by Stephen Shub

Poised For The Dreamer by Stephen Shub

Poised For The Dreamer by Stephen Shub

Brian Walker, Owner

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Tyff permalink
    April 18, 2010 5:34 pm


  2. Anonymous permalink
    April 18, 2010 5:51 pm

    it looks real!!!


  3. interrobang permalink
    April 18, 2010 6:47 pm

    while the lay person may be impressed, as a painting major, i still see paint. keep practicing mr. shub.

    • April 19, 2010 11:25 am

      @interrobang and Anonymous people who have no guts to post their names:
      Your a turd. Get over it.

      And @The Article/Stephen Shub: Your imagery immediately opened something inside me and I f***ing cried cause I felt so happy.

      Amaaaaazing work!!!

  4. Anonymous permalink
    April 18, 2010 7:53 pm

    boring- from a slide projected onto a canvas. wow mind blowing. zzzzzz.

  5. April 20, 2010 11:24 am

    Forgive the late response but I just found this article.

    First I have to say that it’s my mind that’s blown. What can I say in light of your comments.

    About my art — It would be too easy to just accept all the very positive remarks about my work and just ignore the negative ones, but that’s not my style. Not that I feel I have to explain myself and make excuses for my paintings to anyone. But I feel that I need to have answers to those remarks for myself, because it’s the only way to grow.

    “Why would anybody bother painting something so realistic?”

    For starters you might ask some of the “big guns” like, Chuck Close, Richard Estes, Ralph Goings, Robert Bechtle, Richard McLean or Mel Ramos, why they paint so realistically.
    Then I suggest you go to:
    There’s a few artists there you might want to question.

    I didn’t invent this style of work. It’s why there’s the term “Photorealism”. Not that I’m trying to equate myself with them but, do you criticize Picasso for painting both eyes on the same side as someone’s head? Or question why someone would glamorize a soup can? Where have you been, under a rock?

    I paint what I see. I attempt to go a step beyond my photographs because I can’t seem to be able to capture the image I have in my “mind’s eye” any other way then to paint it. I also try to make a person stop and look at something in a different way, something they might otherwise pass by.

    Believe it or not, I was told by a friend who was there, that a man walked up to one of my paintings and actually HIT IT. He yelled, “This is not painting, it doesn’t say anything to me!” A funny thing happened at that competition, I won Best of Show.

    If I can reach people on such a deep level, whether it’s a compliment or an insult, I feel I must be doing something right. So far the positives have far outweighed the negatives. So “interrobang”, what I say to you is — I’ll keep practicing.

    Again, a sincere thank you to everyone who felt the need to come to my defense. You’ve given me something I never dreamed of when I picked up my brush.

  6. Roxanne Driedger permalink
    April 24, 2010 10:56 pm

    In the negative comments, I see envy. Nothing constructive, nothing intelligent….just envy. Mr. Shub, your work is brilliant.

  7. April 25, 2010 1:11 am

    I am very impressed. keep it up
    …do you give classes or workshops?

  8. Wayne permalink
    May 1, 2010 10:16 am

    WOW!…. What fantastic work!…

    I myself am an artist and i do very much understand your reasons for doing such paintings!.

    The world today has by far become so digital that people take so much for granted!.
    Being able to paint as you do is no easy task, that i do know!.

    I have problems with my own work, not only creating what i see in a real way but also the things in my mind that i wish to bring to life!.

    Painting as you do helps you grow as an artist and your understanding!.
    Not only that but being able to see and use your hands as you clearly have done is such a great skill!.
    If everyone could do it, then why ain’t they?.

    you don’t see others moaning about photo’s they see in Magazines, however, those pictures, even ones that look as if they are as the lens has taken them are touched up in many ways!.

    Art is about breating what is right for you!.
    Doing something in ways that others are unable to and bringing dreams to life!.

    keep doing what you love and enjoy!.
    Artists are the eyes of the world, human thoughts and emotions!.

  9. October 13, 2010 9:54 am

    Not the posterchild. That’s a little austentatious to say. He definately is a very SKILLED artist– do not get talent confused with skill. He worked very very hard to be able to do these paintings, and saying it’s a god-given skill completely discounts any work he has done. If you think he’s “the” posterchild for hyperrealism, do your homework. Seriously. His work is average hyperrealism; look at Simon Hennessy, Richard Estes, Marc Sijan, Raphaella Spence, Ralph Goings… the list goes on and on. Kudos to them all, Stephen included

    • October 13, 2010 10:05 am

      One more thing, Stephen, your work is very impressive, I’m not trying to sound negative. I am an emerging hyperrealist and I’m working on a thesis on the topic so I’ve been going online reading blogs and articles to see the typical questions people post as well as their comments so that I can address them in my paper. I’m just bogged down with nievety and it’s really got me upset. Your comparison to Picasso and Warhol are perfect, because hyperrealism is so easy for people to scrutinize, and they don’t realize how stupid their scrutiny is when they openly accept work that actually does seem pretty pointless. (not saying it is). Anyway, I would truly like to start up a casual-professional conversation with you via linkedin, facebook, or email. If you have time for doing that (every now-and-then replies are fine) please let me know. My website is, contact page has my info. Thanks

  10. JOHN STEELE DESMOND permalink
    January 30, 2011 12:23 pm


    • Mark Fernstrom permalink
      April 3, 2011 11:50 am

      I am also looking for info on Tom Wilson from Lewes DE, His partner was/is an owner of “The Back Porch” restaurant in Rehoboth Beach DE. Specificly I am looking for a print of the painting “Dot” it was of a Dalmation sitting in the middle of the 5 points intersection in Lewes looking towards Georgetown

      • Scott Glenn permalink
        December 21, 2011 10:51 pm

        I own a Tom Wilson late of Lewes DE. “Inez on Milton”. I remember “Dot” hanging on the wall in the Front Porch restaurant. Great painting. Tom did not live long enough to be recognized widely for his talent, but for those lucky few who own his paintings…ah, well. I am one. I have never seen any prints of his work.

    • douat permalink
      July 23, 2013 10:21 am

      i also own a Tom Wilson painting in which he represented himself and his dog in front of the old Rehoboth Beach hoteL

  11. April permalink
    May 22, 2011 11:44 pm

    As simply an appreciator of art, I am so inspired by these pieces. I just discovered hyperrealism today, and I have real respect for these artists. This form of art is something that truly does capture the image of the mind. I have had countless instances where I will try to capture the image I see through a photo, but then upon taking it, I will look at it and realize that the beauty of seeing in real life is incomparable. Hyperrealism provides the viewer to really approach or really see the artist’s perspective.

  12. May 23, 2011 10:31 am

    Thank you April.

    It’s very rewarding for me to feel that I’ve successfully communicated to you, the reason I pick up my brush every day.

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