San Francisco-based artist Jessica Hess is a hyperreal landscape painter. Her depictions of the urban environment both celebrate and validate the art of graffiti through a fine art lens of oil paintings on canvas and gouache on paper.
A graduate of RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), Hess is a recipient of the Trent Burleson Painting Prize, the Faber Birren National Color Award and the Stamford Art Association Award for Excellence. Hess has been exhibiting nationally since 2002.
Josh Keyes received his BFA in 1992 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in 1998 from Yale University School of Art. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally and has work in private and public collections. Keyes currently lives and works in Portland Oregon with his wife and daughter.
“Implosion”, his first exhibition in Los Angeles in over a decade, opens on Saturday at Thinkspace Gallery. The show features nine new works by the painter, each exploring a dystopian post-human world.
Jan Kaláb was born 1978 in Czechoslovakia, at a time when the Iron Curtain still existed and graffiti was a rare sight in the Eastern World. Luckily for us, with the fall of the Iron Curtain, Jan Kaláb was able to fall into the world of graffiti and street art, developing his unique style within the iconic street art crew DSK.
Starting off as a founder of the DSK crew he made a name for himself throughout Europe as “Cakes”. Later on, he decided to broaden his horizon and move to New York where he changed his name to “Point” and started creating huge sculpted abstract letters which he chose to put up in the streets and on walls. He thereby created another form of graffiti without a spray can, but truthful to the spirit of competition and innovation of the urban scene. He uses colorful squares and circles as his vocabulary for infinite variations around depth, time, and motion.
Poznan, Poland based Robert Proch is a painter, muralist and animator. He was educated at the Akademy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland. Proch’s style is inspired by state-of-the-art animation as much as classic caricature, and impressionism as much as modernist graffiti. The mini-narratives he paints examine the modern human condition using vivid colors and tangible emotions. Sentimentality, ambition, fear, loss, hubris, greed and friendship play their roles in snapshot dramas set in coffee shops and shopping malls; or during pregnancies and suicides.
The port city of Haifa in Israel is home to some of the best street art in the world. Broken Fingaz crew, a collective of artists who do brilliant graffiti works, T-Shirt designs and illustrations, was founded in 2001 by artist Unga, who, along with some friends who shared a love for bizzare and colorful images. Since then they are recognized as one of the premier names to come out of Israel’s scene, and have been touring the globe exhibiting and painting the streets.
Los Angeles based artist Sterling Ruby works in a large variety of media including ceramics, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture and video. Often, his work is presented in large and densely packed installations.
The artist has cited a diverse range of sources and influences including aberrant psychologies (particularly schizophrenia and paranoia), urban gangs and graffiti, hip-hop culture, craft, punk, masculinity, violence, public art, prisons, globalization, American domination and decline, waste and consumption. In opposition to the minimalist artistic tradition and influenced by the ubiquity of urban graffiti, the artist’s works often appear scratched, defaced, camouflaged, dirty, or splattered.
Samuel Rodriguez is a San José, California based artist whose work has shown in public art spaces, museums, companies, galleries, internet, and editorial publications. Rodriguez was self-taught for a number of years through graffiti until he later pursued a Bachelor in Fine Arts from California College of the Arts.
He has since blended what he absorbed from both opportunities to create his current aesthetic. Rodriguez is known for two kinds of portrait styles that he calls, “Topographical Portraiture” and “Type Faces”. Topographical Portraits, are made by stylizing a portrait with topographical lines and shapes in a similar manner to those found through images on geographic maps. Type Faces, incorporate typography and portraiture. Rodriguez developed these techniques in order to explore his interest in social, historic, and cultural hybridity.
In the early 2000’s Zest started painting huge frescoes on the walls of European cities and in New York in with the graffiti artists crew Tdm from Montpellier. His figurative style has given way to an abstraction of his characters, where the position and attitude has taken over on realism. in 2011 Zest moves quickly to other mediums such as canvas and sculpture by making the Bubble Brick, a large sculpture with sexy curves. Painting with paint rollers, brushes, markers his studio becomes today the theatre of experimentation.