F. Scott Hess (b. 1955-) is a narrative realist painter whose work explores the themes of alienation, identity, loss, family, sex, and popular culture. Hess frequently works in series.
The Hours of the Day (1995-2001), a six-year project based on the medieval Book of Hours, features twenty-four paintings, each one representing a single hour of the day. Hess’s series, The Seven Laughters of God, is based on an Egyptian creation myth, and depicts a young man’s journey from struggling artist to art world hero, a twenty-first century update of William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress (1753).
Hess graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1977. Two years later he moved to Vienna, Austria, where he studied with the painter Rudolf Hausner for five years. It was in Vienna that Hess gained greater exposure to Old Master painting, an experience that informs his work greatly.
The cultural environs and socioeconomic climate of Los Angeles, where Hess lives and works, play an important role in his painting. In the 1980s Hess made a series of works that focus on the entertainment industry, and his more recent paintings often use the homes and streets of his Echo Park neighborhood as a backdrop.
Hess is loosely associated with the LA-based group of artists, “The Bastards.”
F. Scott Hess’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the San Jose Museum of Art; the Oakland Museum of California Art, and the Orange County Museum of Art .