Tarryn Goldman’s Surreal Painted Photographs

Artist and photographer Tarryn Goldman has created a series of remarkable images, where painting and photography meet in a surreal and fascinating way.

Her work appears like an illusion, where the oil painting is actually made up of real-life figures, but made to look like it belongs on a traditional canvas.

We love the process of her figure’s transformation, and the way brush strokes can be accentuated to turn real objects into ones that look two dimensional.  It’s a unique twist, the opposite of what is normally done, where artists meticulously paint something to look lifelike and hyperrealistic.

See more of her work on her website and Instagram.

Images used with artist’s permission. 

Goldman’s Impasto Process:

“In early 2020 COVID pushed everyone in the world into their homes and told them to sit and stay there. I finished editing images which had been piling up, updated my website, tidied my studio and took an endless stream of images of my daughter.

After about two weeks, when I realised that COVID was gonna be around for a while I began looking for projects to do. I joined a number of online workshops and a few competitions and started to really get into the wonderful space of creativity where I had no deadlines, no boundaries and nothing else to shoot but what I absolutely loved creating.

I heard about this really cool competition called Africa Photo Awards and I decided to enter. After looking at the genres of the competition, I was torn between creating work to enter into the Fine Art category or the Conceptual category. I understood the literal difference between the two, but in my eyes, there was not very much difference when you looked at the actual images.

If you take a photograph of a fine art painting, would that be considered fine art photography or conceptual photography? I spent the next day or so painting objects and setting them up, but it was only once I looked through the camera did I realise what I had done…

It collapsed depth. It had created a 2D object from real life… No matter which angle I took the image from, the effect remained the same. In traditional art there is a technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions called Trompe-l’oeil. What I am doing is the exact opposite.”

Below is a great video from the artist showing her painstaking process.