Dancing at the Edge of Time, 2015
Oil on Polyester
41 x 54.5 in.


As I developed my own voice, logic dictated that I progress toward a realistic genre style, eliminating all that felt contrived or fashionable. I desired an art that did not utilize an obscure and difficult language, but could reach anyone through our mutual signs of human engagement and the arrangements of classical narrative painting. In the 1980’s this took the form of social/political commentary, focused on the vitality and conflicts of American life. Issues of the media, consumerism, and alienation were presented through psychological dramas set in sunny, Technicolor California. After living in Iran for a year (1992-93), and painting that culture with an equally critical eye, I began to feel it was necessary to go to more deeply personal places than politics and social commentary would allow. Thereafter my paintings exhibited a more nuanced view of humanity, with content that was multi-layered and narratives that remained open-ended. With increasing age has come an acute awareness of mortality, and a need to engage some of the existential questions of life by confronting issues of impotence, futility, and final judgment. These heavy subjects are approached with a jaundiced reverence; even the darkest of my works always bear a hint of the hilarity of the human condition.

About Scott F. Hess

Born 1955 in Baltimore, F Scott Hess studied at the UW-Madison & the Vienna Academy of Fine Art. He exhibited in Austria, Germany and France before moving to Los Angeles for his first American solo exhibition in 1985, followed by hundreds of group and solo exhibitions. His work is included in the collections of the LA County Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institute, among others. He has received a Theodor Koerner Award, Western States Art Federation award, a J. Paul Getty Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Hess' 2014 retrospective (Cal State Fullerton, & the Municipal Art Gallery of Los Angeles) was accompanied by a monograph of 40 years of his work. The Paternal Suit; Heirlooms from the F Scott Hess Family Foundation has toured the United States since 2012. Hess is represented by Koplin Del Rio Gallery (Culver City CA), and is an Associate Professor with Laguna College of Art + Design.