Medium

Wes Hempel’s meticulous paintings typically feature contemporary male figures set in the familiar, Arcadian landscapes of classical works, proposing a revised history in which gay experience is included. Depicting shirtless or nude men as the objects of desire, Hempel subverts art historical female archetypes, re-imagining a past in which homosexuality was not vilified, and broader larger narratives and emotional states. He also paints figures in surreal, dream-like settings or arrangements, and several of his works feature buildings that float in the sky above a landscape or ocean. “There is something specific I’m always looking for,” he has said, “though it’s hard to put into words—the visual equivalent of a deftly turned phrase or the unexpected image in poetry.”

Selected exhibitions
2020
Good Form, Decorum, and in the MannerAmerican University
Wes Hempel: A Portable EdenGeorge Billis Gallery
2017
OptimismGeorge Billis Gallery

New Friend, 2019

Oil on canvas
30 × 30 in
76.2 × 76.2 cm
.
$9,400
Location
Los Angeles
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Medium

Wes Hempel’s meticulous paintings typically feature contemporary male figures set in the familiar, Arcadian landscapes of classical works, proposing a revised history in which gay experience is included. Depicting shirtless or nude men as the objects of desire, Hempel subverts art historical female archetypes, re-imagining a past in which homosexuality was not vilified, and broader larger narratives and emotional states. He also paints figures in surreal, dream-like settings or arrangements, and several of his works feature buildings that float in the sky above a landscape or ocean. “There is something specific I’m always looking for,” he has said, “though it’s hard to put into words—the visual equivalent of a deftly turned phrase or the unexpected image in poetry.”

Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Wes Hempel
Other works from George Billis Gallery
Related artists