Menu
The New Contemporary Art Magazine

On View: Jessica Hess and GATS at Hashimoto Contemporary

Jessica Hess often tells people she paints landscapes, but "landscape" doesn't quite sum up the documentary function of her work. Her oil paintings are not about the buildings and the trees, but rather an ephemeral, fragile moment: when graffiti gets put up on city walls. The future of a piece of graffiti is unstable — it could be buffed or tagged the next day. Its longevity is unpredictable. Hess memorializes these ephemeral artistic expressions, choosing broken-down, tagged-up locales that inspire her in her daily surroundings in Oakland and San Francisco. Curator Ken Harman shared a story about how a group of people were moved by Hess's work when they saw the tag of their deceased friend in one of her paintings — an insignia that had heretofore been eradicated from the walls on which it was painted. His presence lives on in her work.

Jessica Hess often tells people she paints landscapes, but “landscape” doesn’t quite sum up the documentary function of her work. Her oil paintings are not about the buildings and the trees, but rather an ephemeral, fragile moment: when graffiti gets put up on city walls. The future of a piece of graffiti is unstable — it could be buffed or tagged the next day. Its longevity is unpredictable. Hess memorializes these ephemeral artistic expressions, choosing broken-down, tagged-up locales that inspire her in her daily surroundings in Oakland and San Francisco. Curator Ken Harman shared a story about how a group of people were moved by Hess’s work when they saw the tag of their deceased friend in one of her paintings — an insignia that had heretofore been eradicated from the walls on which it was painted. His presence lives on in her work.

For her current show at Hashimoto Contemporary, she worked with one of the graffiti artists whose work frequently pops up in her paintings: GATS. An acronym for Graffiti Against the System, GATS is one of the Bay Area’s most well-known and prolific taggers. His portion of the show includes installations elements that were seemingly lifted off the street: Scaffolding with his signature character spray painted on it occupies the center of the gallery, while etchings and paintings on the walls use traffic signs as canvases. In addition to a collaborative piece the two artists did together, his work pops of in one of Hess’s paintings, bringing the show full circle.

Jessica Hess and GATS’s show at Hashimoto Contemporary is on view through May 24.

Meta
Share
Facebook
Reddit
Pinterest
Email
Related Articles
Spanish artist Isaac Cordal recently made Montreal, Canada his playground by hiding miniature cement figures around the city. Covered here on our blog, his art reflects on society by recreating scenes of everyday life with a sense of gloom. In a way, it is a combination of sculpture and photography- a photo can speak a thousand words when it captures his work at just the right moment. For his upcoming exhibition "Urban Inertia" at C.O.A. Gallery, Cordal placed his figures in muddy puddles, cracks in sidewalks and walls, and other unassuming places.
Marion Peck moves into a new chapter of her practice as she unveils "StraVolti" at Dorothy Circus Gallery Rome on April 21. The show, collecting new works that explore psychological themes and modern art history, presents a series of distorted portraits rendered in oil. "StraVolti" runs through May 28.
Bangkok-based artist Aof Smith is known for his candy-colored, Pop-Surrealist scenes, cacophonies of his distinct cutesy characters and unsettling action. Smith’s massive paintings contain even stranger details upon inspection. His figures often stand in contrast, with humans offering an odd point of entry in these wild narratives.
Brooklyn based painter Beau Stanton has honed his artistic talent over the years with his mural works, adapting the techniques of his mandala-like nautical inspired paintings to his largescale mural works. Although he has painted in some of the most undoubtedly interesting places around the world, from the Berlin wall to the 12th century Crypt of Saint John the Baptist, featured here, his most recent mural presented a particularly unique challenge.

Subscribe to the Hi-Fructose Mailing List