Cities like New York and Paris are so large and complex that it is hard to contain them on one canvas. Artist Nathan Walsh, however, manages to create an incredibly detailed picture of urban living in his hyperrealistic paintings. By using different vantage points and incorporating reflections, these depictions feel like snapshots of a specific place in time, and sometimes of multiple places spanning different moments.
Although always rendered in the same meticulous manner, Walsh's paintings vary slightly with the subject matter. Some of his pieces, such as Delmonico's, portray a straightforward view of a busy intersection in the rain. In other compositions, he overlaps multiple angles to create something strikingly different. This approach can be seen in Rue des Saints, which is based on a busy cafe in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. “Instead of a literal view, the painting explores interior, exterior, and reflected space within its square format,” he tells My Modern Met. “Instead of the static nature of a photograph, the painting became a stage set where found imagery could float in and out of a real location.”
In addition to combining multiple perspectives of one place, Walsh has also merged two different locations in a painting. Titled Monarchs Drift, this piece features the cityscapes of Chicago and San Francisco. “The resultant painting has a hallucinatory quality which is ‘neither here nor there' and exists as a world in transition, between fully formed states,” he says. “It is realist in nature but only insofar as the spaces it suggests are cogent and persuasive.”
Scroll down to see more of Walsh's paintings, and be sure to follow him on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest projects and exhibitions.