A South Korean Artist Reimagines Classic Art In Hyperrealistic Portraits


Giuliano de’ Medici, Homer, Seneca the Younger… Have you ever wondered what these historical figures must have looked like when they were alive? With this idea in mind, one super talented artist from South Korea is using his amazing skills to recreate classic pieces of art, like statues and busts, into hyperrealistic portraits.

Meet Joongwon Jeong who uses acrylic on canvas to create artworks that look so realistic you might easily confuse them with actual photographs. And while other hyperrealists uses photographs and real life models to recreate their looks on canvas, Joongwon does the absolute opposite. He takes statues or ancient busts of famous figures and literally create a photograph of them. And not with a camera, but with a brush. His works are so detailed you can see all the pores, fine lines and blemishes. Fascinating!

Many people get fooled by his paintings and I don’t blame them. Because, of course, no painting can capture such details. The wavy strands of hair, lipstick on the lips. I can even see the pimples on her chest. It definitely takes a lot of talent to paint something like this.

Joongwon studied visual design at Hongik University of Fine Art & Design in Seoul, but there’s more to him than just painting. His is also a self-taught in photography, graphic design, filmmaking and acting. Yep, you heard me right. To top it all, he’s an actor. And a pretty good one.

See, Joongwon has long been a great fan of classics. It includes art, literature and theatre. And since Shakespeare has always been his greatest inspiration, he even decided to join Seoul Shakespeare Company – the only English-language theatre in South Korea that is performing Shakespeare works.

Painter, actor, illustrator, this guy is a full package!

Today, Joongwon Jeong is a skilled artist who found popularity online, have solo and group exhibitions in Seoul, and a studio where he teaches like-minded people of his craft.

If you like his work, there are more of his art on his Instagram, so go and check it out!