American, born 1941
- Occupation or Type
A major figure in the American hyperrealist movement of the 1970s, John DeAndrea established a new level of literal realism within the ongoing tradition of figurative sculpture. DeAndrea forged a position as the premier sculptor of the photorealist artist group. His signature nubile women and pensive men had intellectual and technical sources in the earlier pop art-based works of such artists as George Segal and Duane Hanson. Like those artists, DeAndrea takes his molds from live models and finishes the positive cast with pigment. Using the latest rubber mold technology to obtain the most nuanced and lifelike results, he diverges from Segal and Hanson in his choice of body type and preference for the nude figure. Eschewing the tableau settings of Segal, with their found objects, furniture, and architectural fragments, or Hanson’s clothed, working-class figures from Middle America, DeAndrea works with svelte young models more akin to those seen in the pages of Penthouse magazine than to the social commentary of his antecedents.
John DeAndrea casts his polyvinyl figures from plaster and silicone molds made directly from human models. Consequently, these forms faithfully reproduce every wrinkle, callus, and fold of the model’s body. The cast work is sanded, painted in exquisite detail using oil pigment, and finally, acrylic hair is painstakingly set into the sculpture to approximate human hair. The startling hyperrealism of DeAndrea’s figurative sculptures tends to both fascinate and unnerve viewers, who often need to approach or even touch the life-size works to reassure themselves that the unclothed sculptures are not breathing.