My paintings may be viewed as a photographic representation of reality, but in truth my artwork transcends into its own abstraction of reality. I do not adhere to a true mimetic depiction of a photograph, I use the camera only as a source to assist me with gathering information.
My process of adding or removing detail, altering depth, adding textures, form and colour values and their relationship within the painting, allows me to create an illusion of a reality not seen in any photographic source. My Paintings therefore appear clearer and more distinct than a photograph.
constructing my own interpretations of a reality results in blurring the boundaries of what is real and what is made up. Presenting the viewer with a simulation of reality, or a hyper reality.
“Hennessey’s striking paintings reproduce images of facial features in extreme close up. In a way it is like those television programs in which we only see the eyes or the lips of the informant, in order to obscure their identity. Except that Hennessey is not trying to obscure identity so much as to depersonalise the people in his pictures, he wants us somehow to assess their characteristics entirely from a few physical clues.
One recent work is a diptych which poses the question saint or sinner? the question is not so direct as it sounds. The left half is colour, the right in black-and-white. Do we think the colour is the devils work, while black-and-white implies documentary purity? A lot of people see it that way. But is it not black-and-white more artificial in our everyday experience than colour? and in any case, do not both of them partake here of that ‘false sense of reality, a photoreality’? Hennessey wants us to consider such questions, and leaves the answers up to us.”
From “Exactitude :Hyper realist art today”, by John Russell Taylor (plus one publishing)
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