Scott Hess, The Allegory of Mud, 2017

Hess is just an outstanding example of a narrative painter working today. We believe that the mud in this painting represents paint, as Hess has referred to paint as “colored mud” before. From this material us painters are able to make something more than just mud – we’re able to bring stories into this world that examine what it means to be human. We can dig into the meaning of love, death, truth, desire, and beauty! Here we see complex interactions between the figures and we’re not able to exactly grasp what the relationships are about. In the top left corner Hess has painted himself sneakily pointing his finger at us, saying ‘Teehehe, gothcha!’
Hess says “I think I want you to feel compelled to love my work despite being deeply disturbed by it. Human emotions and psychological issues are messy and complex beyond belief. We are attracted to our own odd desires, often unwillingly, and I like finding that edge between attraction, repulsion, and obsession. I find my works beautiful, but I know that over the years a lot more people are freaked out by my paintings than share my sense of beauty. But when you do find those people who share it, you’ve connected to a kindred soul.”

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