In his extensive collection of surreal paintings, artist Joel Rea takes us on extreme adventures. His hyperrealistic landscapes and portraits feature everything from swirls of stormy winds and water to giant dogs chasing tiny people. Using brushes as thin as just a few hairs, the Australian artist spends hour upon hour meticulously developing his oil paintings until they are smooth, saturated and insanely detailed scenes of imaginative realities.
Before he even puts brush to canvas, Rea spends time researching and envisioning his images. He draws from various media, pre-visualized designs, and photo shoots in order to blend several elements into one final and often disorienting picture. Through his own manipulation of the scene, Rea produces art that reflects the richness, detail, and complexity of life. He says he puts the many layers of himself into a story, and he is most interested in the human condition and the darker side of emotions. He says, “It’s so easy to smile when you are winning but I guess in life it’s what you do in your darkest hours that are the most interesting because that’s where you are really challenged as a person and that’s where truth can really come out.”