Matthew Penn

Hyper-Realistic Oil Paintings

Matthew Penn is a British artist who creates hyper-realistic installations that combine the traditional techniques of classical oil painting with industrial sculpture fabrication and cutting edge lighting technologies. The paintings are rendered using up to 30 layers of oils in order to capture the microscopic details in the skin structure and human anatomy. Subjects are lit and painted in a Chiaroscuro style, which was especially prevalent in the Renaissance era with masters such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Da Vinci; all sculpting depth into their work through the contrast of light and dark form.

Today, Matthew displays his works in ground breaking new ways, transforming the way a viewer interacts with each display. The paintings are set in gigantic three by five meter illuminated black aluminum frames, more akin to megalithic monuments than modern day wall hanging. The “genesis” frames, designed and constructed by the artist, is integral to the installations . further more Several of the installations are to be seen from opposing angles, and the two paintings are incorporated into a freestanding “metamorphosis” display , enabling the viewer to walk around the work exploring a 360 degree view within the exhibiting space. The installations also tell a story for future generations to decode by encapsulating both his and the subjects purified DNA within a preservation capsule.

The final trick Matthew conjures is in the lighting of his works. He has developed his own bespoke way of lighting each individual installation in partnership with high-tech lighting company, ERCO. He illuminates his finished pieces by sculpting multiple beams of LED lights, combining both warm and cool colour temperatures and only focusing on specific parts of the oil paint. In doing so, he manages to pull the subjects out of the dark and have them burst with vivid clarity and definition, as if you are stood face to face with the subject.

With all of these elements combined: classical oil painting, hyper realistic detail, industrial sculpture, genetical science and futuristic lighting techniques, Matthew creates a viewing experience that is unparalleled in the art world today. Audiences of his work are left in awe as they immerse themselves in his hyper-realistic domain, which is both foreboding due to the exhibitions dark physical sensory exploration and endearing in the connection of human emotion captured in his subjects.

By constantly developing new ways of displaying his art through revolutionary techniques and complex engineering, Matthew aims to continue shattering the status quo. He is currently working to produce public installations for both interior and exterior scenarios which will further push the boundaries of combined sculpture and classical artistry into a pioneering new realm.

If you would like to discuss any of Matthew's artwork, or talk about a commission, he can be reached at or +447708641293.