These Are Not Photos: Realism by Steve Mills

These images appear to be mundane photographs, capturing scenes that we all see in our daily lives. Jumbles of newspapers, peeling paint on a wooden gate, jars full of marbles, glass bottles shining in the sun. Look closer, and you still may not even realize that they’re not photographs after all.

Down to unimaginable details like stamped-on ‘best-by’ dates, tiny snippets of text, drops of dew and wood texture so well realized you can almost feel it, these hyper-realistic paintings by Steve Mills leave no doubt as to the talent they take to produce.

Early in his career, Mills “had collectors literally airing in line outside the gallery before an opening; creating such a frenzy, one show sold out in 10 minutes. However, with the time it takes to paint in the photorealist technique – some paintings taking over 500 hours – it has proven impossible to do more than one gallery opening a year.”

At his website, Mills not only displays dozens of these paintings, but offers high-resolution images of them that allow you to get a practically microscopic look. Even then, it’s hard to spot brush strokes or any other signs that they’ve been created with a human hand.