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.
Daniel Rich translates photographs into paintings that call attention to implicit political and social narratives transcribed in the built environment. The architectural image is represented in his work to introduce a dialogue about changing political power structures, failed utopias, the impacts of ideological struggles, war and natural upheavals. He is interested in the highly symbolic role architecture plays in politics and its power to function as an icon of our lived experience, a portrait of an existential phenomenology whose features manifest where society is at one particular moment in history.
Rich’s paintings point to the shifting of the significance and meaning in both images of places and the places themselves. His interest in the potential divergence and duality of images and the media’s role in covering and presenting issues to the public is closely tied to a pictorial architecture, and its ability to act as an icon for political, religious and social systems and beliefs. He collects and appropriates photographs he finds on the Internet and in newspapers, in response to radio and television broadcasts, and through research and reading. The mediated image is painted in order to invest the picture with the capability to function as a signifier and to evoke meaning and discourse.
Joshua Smith is a miniaturist and former stencil artist based in Norwood, South Australia. With a career spanning 17 years he has showcased his work in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Japan and all over Australia in over 100 exhibitions. Formerly a self taught stencil artist Josh refocused his career to establishing Espionage Gallery, an Art Gallery based in Adelaide, South Australia showcasing both emerging and well established local, interstate and international artists. For 4 years he showcased over 600 artists from over 20 countries.
In 2015 after the closure of Espionage Gallery Josh refocused back onto his own career this time as a self taught miniaturist. His miniature works primarily focus on the often overlooked aspects of the urban environment such as grime, rust, decay to discarded cigarettes and graffiti perfectly recreated in 1:20 scale miniatures.
Rodolfo Edwards paintings of abstracted cityscapes deal with city narratives and bring together his background in architecture, urban planning and painting. Still young, he has quickly garnered a great deal of success with his dramatic re-interpretations of the urban landscape which he describes as a mixture of Neo-Expressionism, Cubism, and Map Art.
He uses a number of techniques in his compositions including dripping acrylic paint, gridding his canvases with ink pencil and pen and collaging images found in art, photography and fashion magazines.
Cameroon based artist Boris Nzebo’s multilayered paintings and collages conjure the astounding visual complexity typical of the West African city. Entirely drawing his subject matter from urban culture in his hometown Douala, Nzebo invests his works with psycho geographical impulse: their primary subjects are the elaborate hairstyles of men and women, which he lays on city views as integral features of the architecture.
Nzebo’s stylized execution owes a lot to painted haircut signs found outside Cameroon’s barber shops. Appropriating the language of advertising he creates portraits taken from detailed studies of traditional African hairstyles, often elaborate, and combines them with informal snapshots of local neighborhoods, urban architecture and scenes from daily life. This symbiotic connection allows for a multiplicity of readings of the image, rendering levels of information in a sort of visual polyphony that rhythmically integrates humans and the space they inhabit.
Diego Rodriguez-Warner was born in Managua, Nicaragua in 1986. In 2008, he studied under the Cuban Minister for Fine Arts, Lesbia Vent Dumois, in Havana, and completed his Bachelor of Arts in COIN Theory and Fine Arts from Hampshire College in 2009. In 2013, he received his Masters of Fine Arts from the Printmaking Department of the Rhode Island School of Design.
Rodriguez-Warner is an artist who makes often jarring images dealing with violence, layered history, originality, and collapse. He’s keen on art history and pop culture, so you see in the works references to Matisse, Picasso and Asian watercolors but also to Disney, Japanese anime, urban street art, superheroes and maybe some Internet porn.
Amy Park is known for her carefully rendered, large-scale watercolor paintings featuring iconic architecture. She works almost exclusively from photographs. Her subjects have included Donald Judd’s structures in Marfa, experimentally designed homes in California, and other icons of Modernist architecture. Her best-known series is based on a famous series of architectural photos by Julius Schulman; while Park faithfully reproduces Schulman’s original compositions, she selects the jeweled colors based on her recollection and interpretations.
Another body of works was inspired by the New York City urban landscape, with particular attention paid to repeating textures and patterns. These works were based on Park’s own photographs of major landmarks and skyscrapers, reimagined with more intensely saturated hues.
New York-based artist Alexandra Pacula paints large-scale works that explore the dynamic energy of cities at night. With virtuosic brushwork, vibrant color, and fluid gesture, Pacula captures the motion and chaos as well as the sublime beauty of urban space.
Her streets are filled with light that travels almost of its own accord within the compositions, and she has developed a nontraditional style of painting that combines impressionism, expressionism, and photorealism. The resulting paintings ensnare the eye and transport the viewer to another dimension, reminiscent of the fleeting yet mesmerizing moments that take place only in the big city.
Argentinian-born, Valencia-based artist Hyuro makes use of negative space through a series of repeating figures, where the location of her work is integral to how we perceive it.
Whether she is mural painting, building installations, or showing her paintings in a gallery, Hyuro is making observations about life: framed by an empty white background, the people in her work demonstrate our relationships and how we interact with one another. In her minimalist style, her works challenge stereotypes and address themes surrounding urban relationships, co-existence and the notion of being “alone together”.
Matthias Gephart is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Berlin, Germany, who is revisiting his roots in graffiti in a project that incorporates his creative interests. He is always in search for abandoned spaces that held the unknown quality like empty houses or factories.
“Typography in urban space does not necessarily need to be limited to writing names on walls. I prefer to set the focus on an inter-action with the specific athmosphere of the environment and write a message, a poem or a dadaist info that suits the situation. Ruins of industrial architecture have shaped our landscapes – they seem to materialise as a melancholic victory over the idea of never-ending progress, but re-definition is just at hand.”