“Internalized conflict externalized as war”


Art Show
Book Signing
Documentary Premier

Art Show
“Internalized conflict externalized as war” is the first solo art show in Cleveland in over two and a half years for renowned artist Derek Hess. Due to his lengthy sabbatical from his hometown, the exhibit will feature several different bodies of work– all current, most done this year. The first collection will showcase the medium he is most known for and has worked in for years– pen, ink, and acrylic. Despite the familiar media, Derek’s subject matter has expanded and evolved since his last Cleveland show, and many pieces reflect the show’s title.

The pieces featured in the show’s second collection veer from Derek’s usual path and were done on 8 track tapes. After a successful opening in Los Angeles last September called 8traction that featured just 8track pieces, Derek knew that he wanted to highlight them in his return to Cleveland. Many of the tapes are influenced by the bands’ names, some the subject matter of the original cover art, and others simply act as the canvas for what Derek was seeking to express.

The third collection in the show will be Playboy covers. Says Hess, “Over the past few years, I’ve been drawing nudes with grease pencils on the covers of 1960s and 1970s Playboy magazines.” After every piece sold at a show in Hamburg Germany featuring these Playboy pieces, Derek felt it was important to incorporate these pieces as well.

Book Signing
“He Ain’t No Vargas” is a limited edition book containing an extensive collection of grease pencil nudes utilizing playboy magazine covers as canvases by Derek Hess. The pieces were created using 1960s and 1970s era Playboys– the very same issues Hess first discovered as a fourth grader. The nostalgia brought back by the taboo material of Hess’ childhood made the project even more fun for the artist. Drawing loose and fast, Hess was able to capture the vibrant feeling of the figure.

Some covers worked better than others for Hess’ purpose, so many of the pieces feature duplicate issues. The book has drawings spanning from the beginning of his experimentation with Playboys back in 2010 all the way into his most recent works done in August 2013. “Vargas” refers to the artist Alberto Vargas, who was responsible for the pin-up nudes in Playboy for decades, and the book title is a tongue in cheek shot at Hess and his ability to draw. Hugh Hefner gave his personal blessing perhaps giving the book the highest praise one can receive from Playboy magazine.

Documentary Premier
“Forced Perspective” is an intimate portrait of Derek Hess by documentarian Nick Cavalier. From his early flyer work and celebrated sketches to his elaborate mixed media pieces, this documentary showcases the evolution of Derek’s art and the emotional ripples it leaves behind in the world.

Derek Hess’s work has been recognized in both the music and art world for over 20 years. Hess began creating promo flyers for shows in Cleve, OH. These flyers soon gained the attn of a multitude of bands as well as the Grammy Museum, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Louvre in Paris which he is part of their permanent collections. In addition to countless cd covers and gallery shows all over the world, he has been featured on TLC, MTV, Fuse, VH1, Alternative Press, Newsweek and Juxtapoze to name a few.


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