Painter JKB Fletcher has innovated a new, curiously meta dimension of scantily clad superhero women. The UK-based artist is an obvious master of technique, and has created a series of paintings depicting beautiful women who are themselves painted upon with colors and iconography that are similar to but perhaps legally distinct from Superman, The Hulk and The Flash. On display now at the Fortyfive Downstairs gallery in Melbourne, Australia, Fletcher's series comes of course with the artist's personal statement about the work, which you can read below.

Working with oil on linen, Fletcher's paintings take approximately one hundred hours to complete, and are explicitly photorealistic as part of the artist's ongoing fascination with the question of whether there really is a substantial difference between photography and photorealistic painting. He discusses the concept on his website, where he also explains the thinking behind his superhero-based material.

I originally started painting toy super heroes as a humourous celebration. I wanted to embody them as godlike figures to show their place in today's society, as they're used to instill good morals, values, high hopes and virtue into kids as well as entertain them. I saw it as quite an honourable standing for a toy figure to represent such a noble philosophy, somewhat familiar to the Greek sculptures in their time (bearing in mind I have no idea what it's like to live in Greece in the 13th century!). However, they have severe weakness, they are often hugely flawed in one particular area and their 'normal' life, or facade of a life, which involves the closest of friends and family is most commonly subject to constant deceit in the form of lying cheating and stealing, arguably some of the worst characteristics. But flaws make them relatable and the ability to relate to the superheroes is the reason they are lasting such a long time and will always be a notable creation of our era. Our modern psychology and social paradigm is both reflected and represented through our love of the superhero.

What do you think, art lovers?

[Via I Heart Chaos]