The word "hyperrealism" is used in the art world to denote the activity of a group of artists who made paintings that "look just like photographs". This all happened in the late sixties, early seventies. And one can imagine the reaction of the populace and especially art critics, who were just used to the fact the works of Jackson Pollock could be called "masterpieces".

Here is a good example of a "hyperrealist" painting. The real one is on display at the newly opened Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. In fact I urge anyone to see the real painting. The photographic reproduction below gives the false impression that the painting merely copies the photographic medium. In fact the painting exagerates the photographic medium. This is what makes this art so interesting and appealing.

This is a scanned in version of a photograph of a painting that looks like a photograph.

The word "hyppereal" is also used by contemporary thinkers such as Umberto Eco and Jean Baudrillard to describe Southern California. Of course Los Angeles can be a bit of a shock when you are used to living in an old european city such as Bologna or Paris.