This Irish Artist Draws The Most Photorealistic Pictures You've Ever Seen

"It's all about the eyes, I love being able to capture emotion"

Barry-Jazz-Finnegan

This Irish artist creates some of the most photorealistic drawings you've ever seen and they're seriously impressive.

While Barry Jazz Finnegan spent his formative years in Carrickmacross and Dundalk, he has been based in Dublin since he finished his Leaving Cert, so the artist has been a fixture of the capital for some time.

You may have already encountered some of his stunning work, being perhaps best known for his fantastic drawings of Conor McGregor, which greatly impressed the ultimate fighter himself.

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

You may have also come across Barry's art at the CHQ Building in the IFSC a few months back, where he sometimes exhibits his work, or perhaps you've seen one of his incredible live drawings around the city. He also has one piece on permanent display of Phil Lynott in the downstairs bar of Bruxelles.

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

Having studied model making and special FX in college, Barry found there wasn’t a lot of work in Ireland in this area and found himself moving away from it. His particular art style began simply as a hobby, before it developed into what he does today.

Barry said:

I'm completely self-taught, after I began to share my work online it gradually grew into what it is today. I was always fascinated by art and I loved drawing as a kid. We would have 'art days' growing up, newspaper spread out over the kitchen table and paint for hours. I always got a great feeling finishing a picture, so the art came with a feel-good factor to it.

The 34-year-old artist deals primarily in large scale realistic portraits rendered in charcoal. For him, the strength of the picture lives and dies on the artist's ability to recreate the eyes of a subject.

Most of it comes down to the eyes, they are a very important part, I do my best to make them a focal point and I always start with the eyes. Finding the suitable image can be difficult, some pictures don’t translate well to charcoal. It's all about the eyes, I love being able to capture emotion.

Barry Jazz Finnegan

If you're trying to decide what artist his work most resembles, don't bother: he makes a conscious effort not to follow many other artists, for fear he'd consciously or subconsciously take something from their work or style.

I like that I can say, this is my style. Years of practice, trail and error, to develop my own approach and look.

Barry Jazz Finnegan

To see some of Barry Jazz Finnegan's work, have a look below.

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

The response the artist has received to his work has been phenomenal, but he isn't quite used to receiving compliments for his art just yet.

I wouldn’t be great at receiving compliments, face to face. Just politely nod and smile, I think that’s an Irish thing. But I'm so thankful for everyone's words and time! What motivates most is when someone gets in touch and tell me my work inspires them to do something they are passionate about. I recently heard from an upset mother about her kid who was having a hard time at school, being bullied, and the kid would come home and watch my videos. It really affected me and it’s stuff like that, that I love. I never would have expected that could have happened.

Barry Jazz Finnegan

It's not just here in Ireland where Barry's work has been making a splash, having received the 'Artist Of The Year' award in Chicago last year. He also does lives shows in New York City every year. At one particular charity event in Madison Square Garden, Barry drew a portrait of Robert De Niro which was bought that night by the acting legend's son, Raphael De Niro.

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Pic: Barry Jazz Finnegan

If you'd like to see more of Barry Jazz Finnegan's work, order prints ahead of Christmas or contact him directly, you can do so on his Facebook page here.

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Written By

Seán Kenehan

Seán is known for eating, drinking and writing, making him uniquely qualified to work for Lovin Dublin. Seán enjoys skipping stones wistfully, puns that'd make a dad blush, and referring to himself in the third person.

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