I confess that I don’t really get it. The paintings are not realistic, they’re photorealistic. They show traits typical of cameras and lenses, like limited depth-of-field. For all I know, the paintings are painted from photographs.
As a technical achievement, the results are astounding. I’m honestly amazed that humans can do this. But what does the painting add that a photograph lacks? It seems to me like a great deal of extra effort, without an artistic payoff.
Photograph by yours truly. It didn’t take 500 hours. Does it make a difference?