SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS is proud to present Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, an exhibition featuring new work by California-based artists Jessica Hess and Tara Smith. In this exhibition, both artists provide a unique perspective on the state and decay of various objects and tools existing within the contemporary, urban environment.
Smith’s ‘Mobile Vehicles’ series are large-scale paintings that portray man-made objects as creatures with human identities. Garbage trucks, helicopters, big-rigs and tanks become portraits of individuals, couples and personalities. Smith’s works combine color field painting and abstraction with figuration, oscillating between ambiguity and discernible imagery, between subjective narrative and everyday objects. Smith expands on her technique of attributing human identity to non-human forms in her ‘Road Kill’ series. These small-scale watercolors depict perished birds and discarded stuffed animals striped of context, each with a narrative or nostalgia informed by the viewer’s interpretation.
Hess is a photorealistic painter who presents graffiti, decay, and the urban environment in the guise of traditional landscape paintings and still life works on paper. Her depictions document everyday street life and celebrate the art of graffiti and the artist’s tools. Her crisp, vibrant paintings and her small-scale ‘Objects of Desire’ works pop of hyper-realistic figuration, highlighting the character inanimate objects and locations can acquire as a result of human presence, interaction, use, abuse, and neglect.
Tara Smith currently serves as Oceanside Museum of Art’s Deputy Director and has been in the museum industry for over five years. Born and raised in Southern California, Smith earned a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and a MFA from Goldsmiths College in London, graduating with distinction.
Jessica Hess is a graduate of RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and 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. Her work has been featured in print publications including New American Paintings (Northeast #74) and Harper’s (April 2009). She currently resides in San Francisco.