Jessica Hess explores two subjects in her work. One is the empty or abandoned urban landscape; the freight yard, the aging industrial area, the alleyway, abandoned buildings and especially the unused doorway. Which brings me to her other subject matter, so ubiquitous in such places: graffiti. At times the portrayal of graffiti completely takes over her paintings so that the whole exercise becomes an interesting riddle in artistic authorship like extensive sampling in music. This may be, conceptually, the more loaded approach but on a purely personal level I prefer the atmosphere she evokes when the graffiti is more pared down and the context of its environment comes to the fore. Either way she has a rich vein of material to mine and shows little sign of needing further inspiration any time soon. You can see a great deal more work on her website at: jessicahess.com
"Allston II" 36" x 48" oil on canvas 2010
"Eureka Night II" 36" x 48" oil on canvas 2010
"Graffiti on Alcatraz Wall" 60" x 36" oil on canvas 2006
"Graffiti Truck" 32" x 24" oil on canvas 2007
Thanks to the folks at artistaday.com for introducing me to her work.