Exquisite Oil Paintings Immortalize the Forgotten Moments of Everyday Life

Realistic Oil Paintings of Modern Life by Kate Waters

Germany-based artist Kate Waters celebrates the unexpected beauty of the mundane in her realistic oil paintings. From interior scenes of people sitting at tables to nighttime depictions of car-lined streets, she captures moments of modern life that are familiar to everyone, yet rarely immortalized on canvas. Her newest exhibition titled Apotheosis of the Real exemplifies this fascination with a series of paintings inspired by understated urban living.

Originally from Canada, Waters moved to Düsseldorf, Germany, after graduating from art school in 1991, and she's lived there ever since. “My main source of visual inspiration comes from my own photographs which I‘ll mostly rework on Photoshop or collage to obtain the final composition,” Water explains in an artist statement. “My other inspiration for content is everything out there, really. I’m fascinated by the apparent serendipity of cross-referencing within cultures, in advertising, literature, music titles, history, art history, in words, fashion, social politics, religion. Realizing this makes everything into a kind of poetry; which indeed it is, our absurd world/humanity is giddily intent on self-harm, it is so interesting and beautiful and I’m part of it.”

Each of these figurative paintings focuses on a distinct moment in time that is neither extraordinary nor boring. Some of these works feature figures looking directly at the viewer, whereas other images offer a more voyeuristic view of people's lives. All pieces, however, are rendered with a masterful sense of precision and attention to detail. “My choice of image, that I then invest the next four to six weeks of time on is governed by a search for something that has universal meaning, something that feels familiar to many, perhaps a tick‚ pre-Klischee‚ a metaphor,” she continues. “The content I want to pull out of an image then ripens as I’m working on it.”

Apotheosis of the Real is on display at Galerie Voss in Düsseldorf from August 27 to October 23, 2021. You can follow the artist on Instagram for updates on her latest projects and shows.

Germany-based artist Kate Waters creates incredibly realistic paintings that reflect day-to-day modern living.

Realistic Oil Paintings of Modern Life by Kate WatersRealistic Oil Paintings of Modern Life by Kate WatersRealistic Oil Paintings of Modern Life by Kate WatersRealistic Oil Paintings of Modern Life by Kate WatersRealistic Oil Paintings of Modern Life by Kate WatersRealistic Oil Paintings of Modern Life by Kate WatersRealistic Oil Paintings of Modern Life by Kate WatersRealistic Oil Paintings of Modern Life by Kate Waters

Kate Waters: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Kate Waters.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.
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