Goings's photorealist paintings depict scenes from everyday urban life. In 1972 he began a series on the interiors and exteriors of snack bars based on his own photographs. Avoiding subjectivity, the artist set great store in perfection of technique, in order to lend authenticity to the illusion of complex reality and, at the same time, to prompt the viewer to question his or her own perceptual habits.
Similarly to the pop artists, the photorealists replied to the abstract styles of the 1950s and 1960s by turning to objectivity and an involvement with existing visual material. A recourse to craft skills, such as those formerly reflected in the deceptive technique of trompe-l'ceil illusionism, played a salient part in this development. Many photorealists, including Ralph Goings, augment the unique capability of photographs of capturing elements of reality by deliberately overemphasizing the details of real life.