Richard Estes (1932-present) was born in Illinois, but at an early age moved to Chicago with his family. It was here he studied the fine arts at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduating in 1956. After Estes completed his studies, he spent the next 10 years in New York working for various magazine publishers and advertising agencies as a graphic artist whilst also painting in his spare time.
Renowned to be one of the founders of the Photorealist movement, Estes always stayed true to his photographs. For instance, where there were signs or advertisements in his paintings, they were always painted backwards because of the reflection. Best known for his paintings of New York, characterised as clean, reflective and inanimate, he depicted storefronts, the view from the Staten Island ferry and the beams of the Williamsburg Bridge. Humans are almost always absent in his compositions, rather Estes directs our attention towards the modern landscape and ordinary sights of Manhattan that are often overlooked.
Estes has been exhibited globally, holding solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Isetan Museum of Art in Tokyo and in the International Contemporary Art Fair in Paris. He was granted both a fellowship of the National Council for the Arts and elected into the National Academy of Art as an Associate member in 1971, becoming a full Academician in 1981.
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