Jean-Pierre Kunkel



Jean-Pierre Kunkel, born in 1950 in Liévin, France, stands as one of Germany’s most celebrated illustrators and commercial artists. His journey into the world of art began with formal education in painting at both the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. Initially, Jean-Piere started working as an illustrator, building a career for over 35 years of experience in the advertising industry.

After his studies, Jean-Pierre went on to discover the art scene of Paris and New York, where he assisted the French advertising photographer and art activist Jean-Paul Goude. That time greatly influenced Jean-Pierre Kunkel’s photorealistic way of working that he perfected on an auto didactical basis later on. 

His work got world-wide coverage when he created a famous cover for “Der Spiegel”, a German weekly news magazine with one of the largest publications of Europe.

Currently residing and operating from Hamburg, Kunkel’s artistic repertoire spans a diverse range of mediums, including watercolor, oil paints, airbrush, photography, and digital image manipulation. However, it is his unique fusion of techniques in his photorealistic series that truly sets his work apart.

Through his masterful use of color, light, and texture, Kunkel breathes new life into his subjects, transforming ordinary moments captured by the camera into extraordinary works of art. In Kunkel’s hands, reality is not simply replicated but reimagined, allowing viewers to experience the world through his unique perspective. Like his teacher Goude, he approaches his own idea of perfect aesthetics through art. In this sense, photorealism is both a stylistic device and a technique.

Each piece in Kunkel’s pool collection is meticulously crafted, with every stage of the process executed with precision and care. It all begins with the conceptualization of photographic images and the quest for the perfect models. Kunkel then brings his vision to life through elaborate underwater photoshoots, capturing the essence of his subjects in a distinctive manner.

Following the photography stage, Kunkel meticulously sifts through his digital images, isolating and reassembling individual elements to create cohesive compositions that evoke a sense of harmony and balance. Jean-Pierre aims for perfection, and underwater distortion of the body by the reflection underwater must be eliminated in the process.

His final step is translating his digital assembly onto canvas using oils.

Jean-Pierre’s work has been part of several international art shows and is represented in exclusive galleries worldwide.