|Rachel Bess in her studio.|
If art imitates life, then Phoenix-based painter Rachel Bess
is living in a world full of stunningly corporeal ghosts.
Her oil paintings on panel juxtapose surreal backgrounds with portraits so realistic they look like photos of real people frozen in fantastical moments.
It's no wonder, then, that the acclaimed Lisa Sette Gallery
in Scottsdale is now showing Bess' work. For the past few years, Bess' paintings have been represented by Perihelion Arts
in downtown Phoenix, a gallery known for hosting local cutting edge and fringe art (as well as pop art by musicians like Devo singer Mark Mothersbaugh
and former Marilyn Manson bassist Gidget Gein
Her move to Lisa Sette Gallery is a boost, as the gallery's been the launch point for internationally known Phoenix-based artists like Angela Ellsworth
whose work was chosen for the 17th Biennale of Sydney in Australia.
Bess' work will bring a new, darker aesthetic to the gallery, and she's enthusiastic about the move.
"Lisa Sette is a gallery
I've always admired for consistently showing quality work with an
aesthetic that resonates with me, so I feel very honored to be a part of
it," Bess says. "Perihelion has also always done a wonderful job of
getting my work out there and brought an eye for work that hadn't really
been shown in Phoenix before they arrived a decade ago. Perihelion got
me into some incredible shows and I got an opportunity to see work from
and show with amazing artists that I respect very much, both from the
Valley and from all over the world. I'm really excited and have very
positive feelings about both galleries."
|Courtesy of Lisa Sette Gallery|
|Eclipse by Rachel Bess, oil on 8x6 panel|
Bess' move from Perihelion to Lisa Sette was facilitated by Perihelion co-owner Amy Young
and Sette's assistant, Duane Smith
. Both of them encouraged Sette to look into Bess' art, and Sette says she liked what she saw.
"I see some great potential there," Sette says. "I'm interested in showing Phoenix artists, and younger artists, because I think the younger artists can learn from the older artists, and vice versa. I don't show anything I don't like."
Perihelion Arts will continue to represent Bess' work in Europe. "We have
built a base of collectors for Rachel's work around the world and we
know that will continue to grow," Amy Young says. "She is extremely dedicated to her
career and it has been a thrill to see nuances in every new show. Her
painting is never not stunning."
Lisa Sette says she received the first of Bess' work yesterday morning -- two small paintings. More of Bess' work will arrive at the gallery over the next several months, and the first Rachel Bess show at Lisa Sette Gallery is expected to happen in early 2012
. "Rachel's gonna be busy," Sette says with a laugh.