Spotlight: Spanish Hyperrealist Pedro Campos Renders Pop-Art Subjects With Old Master Techniques

The Madrid-born artist shows with London's Plus One Gallery.

Artist Pedro Campos in his studio. Courtesy of Plus One Gallery.
Artist Pedro Campos in his studio. Courtesy of Plus One Gallery.

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About the Artist: Madrid-born Pedro Campos (b. 1966) started his career not as an artist, but as a restorer. In fact, he didn’t pick up oil painting until he was 30. Within a few years, however, he had committed himself to it completely, creating meticulous hyperrealist compositions. Over the past 40 years, Campos, who is represented by London’s Plus One Gallery, has carved out a signature niche within the hyperrealist world, working in a color palette that emphasizes dark backgrounds and pops of white and red. His works center around prescribed subject matter: luxury cars, aluminum tins, candies in glass jars, macaroons, and the spines of art books. 

Courtesy of the artist and Plus One Gallery.

Courtesy of the artist and Plus One Gallery.

Why We Like It: Campos’s canvases mix the aesthetics of Pop with the techniques of the Old Masters, which he learned as a restorer. His subjects are ephemeral and everyday pleasures like Coca-Cola cans and colorful candies, befitting of Warhol or Thiebaud; the human figure is absent from these vignettes. Looking at his images, one has the strange sensation of standing in a home whose residents have abruptly exited, their sodas and strawberries left on the counter. Campos captures the scenes with a detective’s detail. 

According to the Experts: “Campos did not have his first solo exhibition until 1998 when he had a showing in Salamanca and A Coruña. The results of this were so encouraging that the following year he determined to give up all other activities and become a full-time painter—and with considerable success. His meticulously executed snatches of the real world are executed with the minute precision of higher mathematics; and yet what seems to be very cool, unemotional artworks, embracing a quietist aesthetic, turn out to set off an intensely emotional experience. What begins in mathematics, ends in a subtle and virtually indefinable magic,” wrote critic and author John Russell Taylor in his book Exactitude: Hyperrealist Art Today.

Browse works by the artist below.

 

Simply Delicious
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Pedro Campos, Simply Delicious. Courtesy of Plus One Gallery.

Pedro Campos, Simply Delicious. Courtesy of Plus One Gallery.

 

Two Peaches and an Apple
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Pedro Campos, Two Peaches and an Apple. Courtesy of PlusOne Gallery.

Pedro Campos, Two Peaches and an Apple. Courtesy of PlusOne Gallery.

 

Porsche
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Pedro Campos, Porsche. Courtesy of PlusOne Gallery.

Pedro Campos, Porsche. Courtesy of PlusOne Gallery.

 

 

Four Apples and a Tin
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Pedro Campos, Four Apples and a Tin. Courtesy of PlusOne Gallery.

Pedro Campos, Four Apples and a Tin. Courtesy of PlusOne Gallery.

 

Jellybeans and Marbles
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Pedro Campos, Jellybeans and Marbles. Courtesy of Plus One Gallery.

Pedro Campos, Jellybeans and Marbles. Courtesy of Plus One Gallery.


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