F. Scott Hess’s Voyeuristic Paintings of Suburbia

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

F. Scott Hess’s oil paintings balance time-honored compositional techniques with a bright, saturated color palette and elements of kitsch. He directly translates the cultural symbols of American suburbia — country club dads, manicured lawns — into modern-day history paintings. Like the 18th and 19th-century depictions of great battles, his oil paintings feature multitudes of characters sprawled out across a single canvas, each person involved in his or her own activity and reacting to the situation at hand in different ways. At times, Hess plays with perspective, warping the scene as if it was distorted by a fish-eye lens or a botched panoramic photo on an iPhone. The results give viewers a chance to be voyeurs in situations that were once mundane but have become far-removed and strange.

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