It’s normally easy to distinguish a painting from a photograph, but Lee Guk Hyun takes realism to such extremes that viewers would never expect these mesmerizing images to be made from oil paints.
The sheen off the sequins of the masquerade masks, the luster of the female subjects’ hair, the texture of his characters’ skin, these are things that could have easily betrayed the effect Guk Hyun was going for, but he’s such a master of his craft that he’s able to replicate these details flawlessly with just a paint brush. It’s truly rare that someone can be this gifted at photorealistic illustration.
Many of Lee Guk Hyun’s works feature Korean ladies with their eyes obscured. In this particular series, for example, he chose to depict ravishing women dressed up for a costume ball with most of them shutting their eyes behind masks.