Photorealism's goal is to reproduce a photograph. The best photorealism can't beat a printer, and I have a really nice printer. - Damian Loeb (American artist)
Photorealism is the movement of painting a subject in a hyperrealistic nature.Evolving from Pop art, and coined in 1969 by gallery owner, Louis K. Meisel, Photorealism (also known as Hyperrealism or Superrealism), is a genre in which an artist reproduces an image with paint, drawing or another medium so realistically as to appear a photograph. Photorealists acknowledge they often utilize different methods and dependence on photographs to achieve detail and lifelike accuracy. Some go as far to mimic the effect sometimes seen in photos, blurriness, double exposure, multiple-viewpoints. I've seen this form of painting over the years and it continues to fascinate.
The precision and detail is astounding and makes the viewer want to move closer, get a better look at what at first glance appears to be a photograph. This movement started in the 1960's in America, a rejection of Abstract Expressionism, the style that dominated for years.
The paintings originally depicted the country's post war landscape, and were often large, illustrating its subject magnified many times it's normal size. The artist normally strives to make the paintings surface as smooth as possible, further mimicking a photograph.
In 1972 the movement fell out of favor and became categorized under Contemporary Art history but with modern technology and the advent of digital imagery, has seen a resurgence, the meticulousness and technique is more prevalent than ever.