|"Swimming Horse" 120 x 86cm oil on canvas 2010|
|"Tell Me!" 120 x 73cm oil on corduroy 2010|
|"Grassland" 155 x 100cm oil and gesso on corduroy 2010|
|"Pope 2" 40 x 50cm oil on corduroy 2010|
|"Woman on TV screen" 130 x 75cm oil and acrylic on corduroy 2010|
A long time ago I used to watch the erratic behavior of the signals on my old analog television set and wonder, why doesn't someone apply a photo-realist approach to that! For years I was convinced that someone somewhere ought to be doing something along those lines but as far as I could tell no one was (of course in a world of 7 billion people you can be sure that someone is doing it, no matter what it is). But now I know someone is. That someone is Jens Hesse, (a German born artist currently living and working in Antwerp, Belgium). He has taken this basic idea and run with it in multiple directions, applying photo-realism to multiple kinds of image distortion through both analog and digital means all incorporating a certain degree of randomness. The result is an eerily familiar reflection of our real life experience in a media saturated world. He occasionally uses subject matter that stands in direct comparison to famous images from art history. His paintings of the pope recall the horrifically distorted image by Francis Bacon which was in turn a direct reference to Velazquez. It's a bold comparison to make but this approach to image interpretation certainly has it points to make. How do we see the world when we spend as much time looking at subtly and not so subtly distorted lo-resolution interpretations of it as we do looking at the world itself?
You can see more work at: www.jenshesse.com