Jens Hesse German, b. 1973


Born 1973 in Heessen, Germany. Lives and works in Antwerp.

After studying Fashion Design at Hanover University for art, design & media, since 2001 Hesse has worked as a stylist for various brands such as ESPRIT, WRANGLER and C&A, with particular attention to denim products, and since 2009 as an artist.

He paints malfunctions and side-effects from the media world with a photorealistic approach, often using corduroy and other structures to translate the digital character into paintings. His work is an eerily familiar reflection of our real-life experience, in our media saturated world; the artist wants to reveal the fakeness of this world, only existing behind a screen, full of clutter and noise and easy to manipulate. By painting these malfunctions, Hesse wants to create an area of conflict between the digital world and the traditional medium of painting.

Many of his work are influenced by digital distorted satellite signals, which involves a mix of abstract and realistic elements. While it is quite disturbing to have malfunctions when watching TV, as a still image it intensifies a visual experiment and reinforces emotional expressions. The beauty of abstraction, shapes and colours that we see on defective TV are thus translated into painting.

Hesse’s work raises questions not just about digital art but also about the digital world in itself. The combination of old and new, the contradiction of subject and message, and most of all the demonstration that our digital world can question its own foundations. His version of digital art is not shaped by the potentialities of what can be achieved with the latest technology but by how that technology is affecting those who view his work.