These pieces, often made of plastic, polyester, glass fibre and even sometimes with natural hair, were cast from live models and debunked the mainstream art movements of the time.

Denver-born John De Andrea remains in the canon as one of the most prominent figures in American realism since the 1960's. Mesmerised by the human form, DeAndrea began his career painting Abstract figurative work. In secret, he was developing a body of work from life casting and developing techniques to create hyperrealist sculpture.

DeAndrea+1960s+-+Early+Works-5 De Andrea working in the 1960's

Once he left the Colorado University in 1965, De Andrea revealed his hyperrealist sculptures to the world. This led him to join OK Harris gallery in SoHo, New York City, which was at the forefront of the Photorealism movement in 1969 as well as was the first gallery to exhibit the work of Duane Hanson, another artist known for his hyperrealist sculptures.

De Andrea working in the 1970's De Andrea working in the 1970's

De Andrea's work from the 1970's De Andrea's work from the 1970's

Being represented by OK Harris proved a wise move for De Andrea. Soon after joining the gallery, his career skyrocketed. Along with Chuck Close, who was also represented by OK Harris, De Andrea became one of the first American artists to show in Paris at the Center Georges Pompidou.

De Andrea working in the 1970's De Andrea working in the 1970's

''A premiere sculptor of the american photo realist artist group in the 1970s, John DeAndrea established a new level of literal realism within the ongoing tradition of figurative sculpture.'' - The Color of Life, Ed. Roberta Panvanelli, J. Paul Getty Museum Publications and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2008

DeAndrea+1973+-+Woman+in+Chair+sm De Andrea's work from the 1970's

De Andrea's work really was revolutionising realism. Life casting was a completely unexplored technique prior to the 1960's. The artist began with traditional plaster casts but before long, he was not content with it and he developed a method of silicone casting that enabled him to capture more precise detail.

The art world had never seen anything quite like De Andrea's work - his sculptures were so realistic that viewers would be forgiven for mistaking them for a real person.

De Andrea's quest for realism went beyond developing live casting. He would use real human hair and cast hair as well as constructing his own glass eyes to ensure absolute precision in his sculptures. His oeuvre was made up of an incredible 350 sculptures made over 50 years.

DeAndrea+1981+-+Model+in+Repose-6+sm De Andrea's work from the 1980's

DeAndrea+1981+-+Seated+Brunette-3+sm De Andrea's work from the 1980's

John De Andrea's work is often exhibited alongside the work of Duane Hanson (1925–1996) and George Segal (1924–2000.) As one of American art's most important and influential hyperrealist artists, he has been the subject of exhibitions including: Three Realist Sculptors: George Segal, Duane Hanson, John DeAndrea at Nassau County Roslyn Harbor and 7 Women, 7 Years Later: Stephen Balkenhol, John Currin, John De Andrea, Yves Kline, Mel Ramos, Robert Mappelthorpe, Thomas Ruff at Andrea Rosen Gallery.

A large majority of De Andrea's works focus on the bodies of young women. In comparison to his hyperrealist contemporaries, John De Andrea concentrates on physicality rather than conceptual or social ideas. Unlike Duane Hanson's work which examines figures on the periphery of American society whose looks do not conform with conventional ideals of beauty. Segal's work addresses the concepts of technology and the separation and isolation it causes for humankind. De Andrea's work, on the other hand, focuses on human relationships and the shortcomings and problems they present.

The work featured in this article entitled Linda Recling by John De Andrea will be included in Subastas Galileo's sale on 23rd February. The sale includes other important 20th century American atists: Man Ray, Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein. Check out the full catalogue here.