Richard Learoyd

Richard Learoyd is known for his life-size, exquisitely detailed photographic portraits and still lifes, which he creates using a specially built camea—a room-size camera obsura that requires exposures lasting multiple hours. “The way I do things... the exposure is 8 hours, the whole day is the exposure,” Learoyd told TIME magazine in 2011. “There is hardly anybody who works in studios in the context that I do because it's painful. It's difficult. It's a brain ache.” By employing this early method of photography, Learoyd not only achieves the illusion that his subjects might lift off the page, but he also mimics the effects of realist painting. His series "Presences," for example, derives largely from the work of the Dutch Masters, realizing the visages of stoic subjects through close-up, visceral portraits. 

Learoyd was born in Nelson, Lancashire, England in 1966. In 1990, he graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a degree in fine art photography. He has shown his work at institutions such as the International Center of Photography in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the National Gallery in London. Learoyd has also been the subject of solo exhibitions throughout the United States and Britain.