Hilo Chen is a first-generation photorealist painter who gained recognition for his pop art-reminiscent paintings of female figures sunbathing on beaches or lounging by pools. Born in 1942 in Guangdong, China, Chen immigrated to the United States in 1975 and began his career as a painter in New York City.
Chen's artistic practice is characterized by his attention to detail and his use of photography to capture the precise angles and lighting of his subjects. He employs a range of techniques to create his photorealistic paintings, including airbrushing, glazing, and layering.
While Chen's earlier works focused on the representation of everyday objects and scenes, such as street signs and gas stations, his later works shifted to a more lighthearted and playful subject matter of sunbathing women. The female figures in his paintings are depicted in bold colors and striking poses, evoking the carefree spirit of the 1960s and 1970s pop culture.
Chen's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Today, he is recognized as one of the pioneers of photorealism and a significant figure in contemporary American art.