Artist's hyper-realistic paintings will amaze you

Artists are acutely aware that there's always a more talented painter or illustrator than themselves out there somewhere. We've already seen 20 phenomenally realistic pencil drawings that have left us green with envy. In terms of realistic technical painting skills though, we'd be hard-pressed to find a contemporary artist who can top the works of Young-sung Kim.

The artist, who is based in New York City and Korea, has set the internet on fire recently thanks to his incredibly lifelike oil paintings that have got us rubbing our eyes in disbelief. Check out some examples of Kim's paintings by clicking left to right in the gallery below. And yes, just to remind you one last time, they really are paintings, not photographs.

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Kim has been painting for 20 years
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The natural world is one of Kim's biggest inspirations
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The paintings take months to complete...
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...but they sell for large sums

As you can see, animals are a recurring subject in Kim's work. By pairing creatures like lizards, frogs and snails with manmade objects such as forks and spanners, Kim is making a point about our society's impact on wildlife and the environment.

Thanks to their unbelievable levels of detail, Kim's oil paintings can take anywhere between three and 10 months to create. The wait is worth it though, and not just for us as viewers - Kim's paintings can fetch for anything from £8,000 to £100,000 each.

Almost as amazing as Kim's work are the comments from the "anyone can do that" brigade, who have doubted the artist's undeniable talent. These include the old favourites such as "it's just tracing" to "you could photo that in two seconds". Meanwhile some critics have questioned whether or not Kim has really painted these masterpieces, given that most photos only show him signing his name.

To these naysayers we say check out the video below of Kim in action. It's one of many videos he's posted to his Twitter profile that show him creating his paintings from scratch.

See more of Kim's incredible work by visiting his Instagram page.

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