Richard Estes

(Kewanee, Illinois, 1932 - )
Lives New York and Northeast Harbor, Maine
Richard Estes studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1952 to 1956.  He moved to New York in 1959 and had his first New York show in 1967 at the Allan Stone Gallery.  In 1996 he was awarded the MECA Award for Achievement as a Visual Artist at the Maine College of Art in Portland.

Estes is widely considered the master of Photorealism, a form of hyperrealist painting in which a photograph is projected onto the canvas as the source of the image and then painted.  In Estes’ work however, photographs are used only as a starting point; he does not project an image onto a canvas and then paint it.  He uses several different photographs to stimulate the idea of the picture and then paints the work free handedly using the photographs and intuition to create the image. His compositions are often organized along strong horizontal or vertical lines, and details are ordered in carefully controlled disarray.  Estes captures the complexity of his works with his use of multiple reflections.  By including reflections in signs or windows of scenes that are outside the realm of the image, the artist creates an illusion of larger space expanding both in front and behind the viewer.  
Unlike other photo realists, Estes uses neither a grid system nor a projector to produce his paintings.  He loosely draws the entire scene with acrylic paint, then switches to oil to polish, blend, adjust and sharpen the image.   The perspective is altered – proportions may change, objects appear or disappear, lighting may be modified, and expanses of glass are polished to a pristine shine, wiped clean of any fingerprints or smudges.  The simplification of objects and details gives Estes’ work a crispness and clarity that is distinctly different from most photorealist paintings.
Subscribe on Yahoo! Calendar

Yahoo Calendar Instructions:

  1. On your Yahoo Calendar page, find "Subscribed" on the left side-bar and click the "plus" sign
  2. Click "Subscribe to Other Calendars"
  3. Paste the following link in the "iCal Address" field:
  4. Choose a Display Name and Calendar Color and click "Continue"
Help with calendar subscriptions

Help with calendar subscriptions:

Most modern calendar software will allow you to subscribe to online calendars. If you have different software other than those that are listed, you can use the following URL in its subscribe feature to automatically display upcoming events:

Search the Collection

Quick Search


Advanced Search

Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Rights & Reproduction

The use of images, text, and all other media found on this website is limited. Please review the Rights and Reproduction document for details.