Jessica Hess - Fade and Fish, solo show at Spoke Art, 2012 , photo credits - Arrested Motion

Jessica Hess/ Jessica Hess

United States 1981

Hyperrealism

jessicahess.com

Jessica Hess
Jessica Hess
Female
United States
1981

Jessica Hess is an American artist known for her hyperrealistic paintings of industrial wasteland covered with graffiti and street art. Born in Massachusetts and raised in North Carolina, Hess began painting her cityscapes in 2003 while she was attending the Rhode Island School of Design, a fine arts and design college located in Providence, in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, where she received her BFA in the same year.

jessica hess oil and gouache paintings
Jessica Hess – Sweeney Ridge I, 2017 (Left) / Sweeney Ridge II, 2017 (Right)

Hyperrealistic Paintings

In the beginning of her career, Hess portrayed factories, power plants, and warehouses around Rhode Island, but without graffiti. Eventually, she introduced street art into her paintings creating remarkably vividly realistic landscapes of graffiti covered urban environments. Using traditional and formal techniques such as oil, acrylic, and gouache, she recreates contemporary subject matter in such precise detail that you almost can’t believe you are looking at pieces.

Jessica Hess uses traditional techniques such as oil, acrylic, and gouache

oil and gouache artworks on canvas by jessica hess
Jessica Hess – Detroit VI, 2017 (Left) / Detroit VII, 2017 (Right)

Old and Abandoned Buildings – Hess’ Subject

Her work develops from an accumulation of images and impressions of industrial and abandoned architecture. Armed with her camera, Hess searches through the urban landscapes of America, capturing graffiti laden walls and decrepit surfaces. She takes upwards of ten thousands photographs a year, which then serve as a basis and a starting point for many of her paintings. Hess depicts old and abandoned buildings, forgotten by all but the underground artists who uses the brick and concrete ruins as a canvas for their work.

Photographs serve as a basis and starting point for many Hess’ paintings

oil on canvas titled no lifeguard on duty by jessica hess
Jessica Hess – No Lifeguard on Duty, 2015

The Neglected Urban Landscapes

Hess’ art is focused on structure, simplicity, decay and subtle details of each location. Pointing out architecture’s imminent demise, she tries to give cityscapes a lighter perspective. The artist removes trash, cars, and people from her works, and these changes and exclusions make her landscapes more perfect versions of the actual city. In reworking and transforming urban landscapes in Hess’ oeuvre, the layers of the street are peeled back to reveal the starlets and icons of a time gone by.

Her paintings reveal the starlets and icons of a time gone by

oil on canvas paintings
Jessica Hess – Hidden Treasures II (Left) / Hidden Treasures III (Right)

More is More

In her recent collection of realist oils, More is More, Hess made a move towards abstraction by adding an abstract element to her traditionally realist work. She has discovered her own art on a deeper level, composed of multiple abstract layers of meanings. Instead of removing them, the artist began embracing the “happy accidents” which would occur during the sketching process, so they could become new, exciting parts of her pieces. With this decision, her paintings got a deeply personal touch deriving from her own imagination, merging with realism of her actual scenery.

She made a move towards abstraction by adding an abstract element to her traditionally realist work

jessica hess on her solo show more is more at hashimoto contemporary in san francisco
Jessica Hess at the opening of her solo show More is More at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco, 2015

Exhibitions and Awards

Hess’ work has been included in many exhibitions all around the United States including at J Go Gallery, Park City, UT, Thinkspace Gallery, Culver City, CA, and Spoke Art, San Francisco, CA, among many others. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Trent Burleson Painting Prize, the Faber Birren National Color Award and the Stamford Art Association Award for Excellence. Jessica Hess’ amazing art has been featured in New American Paintings (Northeast #74) and was spotlighted in Harper’s Magazine and Broken Meter. She also illustrates for SF Weekly.

The artist is represented by Hashimoto Contemporary and Spoke Art.

Jessica Hess lives and works in San Francisco, CA, USA.

Featured image: Jessica Hess in front of her work
All images copyright of the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2017Less Is MoreHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CASolo
2017NSFWSpoke Art, San Francisco, CAGroup
2017Summer 17Arch Enemy Arts, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2017Moleskine Project VISpoke Art, San Francisco, CAGroup
2017Twenty by Sixteen BiennialMorgan Lehman Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2017Six WomenDiana Felber Gallery, Stockbridge, MAGroup
2017PaintguideBooth Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2017Urvanity Art Fair via Plastic MursBooth 18, Madrid, SpainGroup
2016Summer Group ShowHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CAGroup
2016Moleskine Project VSpoke Art, San Francisco, CAGroup
2016PolificationPlastic Murs, Valencia, SpainGroup
2016Waning WorldsParadigm Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2015More Is MoreHashimoto Contemporary & Spoke Art, San Francisco, CaliforniaSolo
2015Massively SmallJ Go Gallery, Park City, UtahGroup
2015Summer Group ShowJoseph Gross Gallery, Chelsea, New YorkGroup
2015Summer Group ShowHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2015Art Market SFvia Hashimoto Contemporary, Booth 411, Fort Mason Pavilion, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2015The Secret Garden of EdenSubMission, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2015UrbanologyArt Now NY, Chelsea, New YorkGroup
2015Moleskine IVFHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2015Selected PaintingsArt Works Downtown, San Rafael, CaliforniaSolo
2015Littletopia Art Fairvia Hashimoto Contemporary, Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
2015Young PaintersHiestand Gallery, Miami University, Oxford, OhioGroup
2014Casheesh 14Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2014Massively SmallJ Go Gallery, Park City, UtahGroup
2014Art on The EdgeVered Gallery, East Hampton, New YorkGroup
2014First/Last – a RISD Alumni ExhibitionParklife Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2014Hess x GATSHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2014Carpe DiemLoakal Gallery, Oakland, CaliforniaGroup
2013Moleskine Project #3Spoke Art, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2013Scope Art Fair via Spoke Art, Miami, FloridaGroup
2013Made In ChinaIan Ross Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2013Tryst & ShoutGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2013Beyond Eden Art Fair via Spoke ArtLos Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
2013Buddy System InvitationalBreeze Block Gallery, Portland, OregonGroup
2013AsylumVFW Building, Oakland, CaliforniaGroup
2013Visions and ReflectionsGauntlet Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2013The GoddessGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2013UnknownFort Mason Center, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2013ArtPad Art Fair via Spoke Art & Gauntlet GalleryPhoenix Hotel, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2013Planes, Trains & Automobiles, two person showSubliminal Projects, Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
2013Scope Art Fair via Spoke ArtMoynihan Station, New York, New YorkGroup
2013X-CentricGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2013Sametan – Don’t Tread On MeSpoke Art, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2013Art for AwarenessThinkspace Gallery, Culver City, CaliforniaGroup
2012Scope Art Fair via Spoke ArtBooth D17, Miami, FloridaGroup
2012Casheesh VGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2012The Rooster ShowThe Safehouse Atelier, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2012Moleskine Project #2Spoke Art, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2012Fade and FinishSpoke Art, San Francisco, CaliforniaSolo
2012ArtMRKTvia Spoke Art, Fort Mason Pavillion, San Franciso, CaliforniaGroup
2012ArtPadSFvia Gauntlet Gallery, Phoenix Hotel, San Franciso, CaliforniaGroup
2012Re-ObjectificationFriesen Abmeyer Fine Art, Seattle Washington, Group
2012Boston Ten and BeyondThe Danforth Museum, Framingham, MassachusettsGroup
2012I Am Crime, Art On the Edge Of the LawSOMArts, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2012Picks of the HarvestThinkspace Art Gallery, Culver City, CaliforniaGroup
2012Grey FullJeff Bailey Gallery, Chelsea, New YorkGroup
2011Drawing Crazy Patterns On The SheetsGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2011It Finds YouWhite Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaSolo
2011Double VisionGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2011Decadence and DecayFerrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MassachusettsGroup
2011Major GreyGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2011ArtMRKTvia Ferrin Gallery, The Concourse, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2011ArtPadSFvia White Walls Gallery, Phoenix Hotel, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2011Street WiseFerrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MassachusettsGroup
2011Paint It Now IIIFowler Arts Collective, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2011Warhol Reimagined: The New FactoryProject One Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2011Vivid SummitPandemic Gallery, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2011It’s A Strange WorldBrick Bottom Gallery, Somerville, MassachusettsGroup
2010Never Say Never, Arts Fund EXPOWhite Walls Gallery at the W Hotel, Miami Beach, FloridaGroup
2010Broken MeterShooting Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2010Winter Group ShowWhite Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2010The Holiday ShowMillery Gallery, Cincinnati, OhioGroup
2010Casheesh IVGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2010Looking EastYves Laroche Galerie D’Art, Montreal, QC, CanadaGroup
2010Westward ExpansionPhilip Slein Gallery, Saint Louis, MissouriGroup
2010As They See It941 Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2010SinglesGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2010Casheesh IIIGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2010Subject / SubjectSubliminal Projects Gallery, Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
2010Temporal SurfacesWhite Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2010Paint It Now IIDistillery Gallery, South Boston, MassachusettsGroup
201050 Years – 50 Artists – 50 PaintingsMiller Gallery, Cincinnati, OhioGroup
2010Artistic Stimulus IIMiller Gallery, Cincinnati, OhioGroup
2009Aqua Art Miamivia White Walls Gallery, Miami, FloridaGroup
2009The Holiday Show – Size MattersMiller Gallery, Cincinnati, OhioGroup
2009The Toy Show IIHunsaker Schlesinger Gallery, Santa Monica, CaliforniaGroup
2009Casheesh IIGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2009The Great ImpressionGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2009Paint Pens and Pet MonstersFourth Wall Projects, Boston, Massachusetts Group
2009Robots, Dounts and Other MadnessMiller Gallery, Cincinnati, OhioGroup
2009FreshFerrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MassachusettsGroup
2009CasheeshGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2009Abstract and DecayLAB, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2009Women – Portrait and FigureFerrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MassachusettsGroup
2008Boston 10Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MassachusettsGroup
2008Hot SpitGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2008Boston Open Studios Coalition ExhibitionThe Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2008Legends of StyleBoston Center for the Arts, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2008Future ClassicsBoston Center for the Arts, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2008It’s Gouache & Gouache OnlyAndrea Meislin Gallery & Jeff Bailey Gallery, New YorkGroup
2007The Toy ShowHunsaker / Schlesinger Fine Art, Bergamont Station, Santa Monica, CaliforniaGroup
2007It’s Gouache and Gouache OnlyGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
200758th Annual Art of the Northeast ExhibitionSilvermine Guild Arts Center, New Canaan, ConnecticutGroup
2007Red & WhiteLascano Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2006In the Spirit of Play, The Holiday Toy ShowLascano Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
200626th Annual Faber Birren National Color Award ExhibitionThe Stamford Art Association, Stamford, ConnecticutGroup
2006Light In AugustGeoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2006Particular PlacesCreative Arts Workshop, New Haven, ConnecticutGroup
2006The Enduring Triumph of RealismFirst Church Gallery, Springfield, MassachusettsGroup
2006Take to the City, Take to the CountryLascano Gallery, Great Barrington, MassachusettsGroup
2006Printmaking BiennialWoods Gerry Gallery, RISDGroup
2006Painted CitiesCarrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New YorkGroup
2005Industrial HorizonsGallery Katz, Boston, MassachusettsSolo
2005Structure IIGallery Katz, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2004No Big Heads, Self Portrait ExhibitionStudent Union Gallery, University Anchorage, AlaskaGroup
200424th Annual Faber Birren National Color Award ExhibitionThe Stamford Art Association, Stamford, ConnecticutGroup
2004Blanche Ames Regional Art ExhibitionBlanche Ames Mansion, Sharon, MassachusettsGroup
2004Cambridge Art Association National Prize ShowCambridge, MassachusettsGroup
2003Industrial LandscapesGallery Katz, Boston, MassachusettsSolo
2003Small WorksGallery Katz, Boston, MassachusettsGroup