The paintings of Andrew Hem will draw you in to their elaborate worlds, with each figure appearing as a fully rounded character that keeps you searching the canvas for his or her narrative. His artwork tends to focus on one lone figure in a somewhat hectic or often busy environment, leaving the viewer wondering who this character is as he or she often appears to be in mid-thought or mid-motion. Each painting acts like a film still—as if it is a piece of a larger epic story full of action and adventure.
Each of the artist’s compositions portrays detailed environments that are both intriguing and beautiful with their deep, cool hues and mysterious situations. In his two most recent bodies of works, Unknown Terrain and Mountain Full, scenes turn eerie as many of his figures are floating mid-air, giving us no indication if they are falling or floating up into the sky. These works take place in such a diverse range of locations, whether it is a lush forest, a burning red city street or a wild, swirling ocean. No matter what location the scene is set; Andrew Hem is able to conjure up the same atmosphere that makes his work so distinct. Influenced by graffiti and street art, Hem doesn’t just have paintings in galleries, but also large-scale paintings in the streets as murals in places like Santa Monica and Oakland, California.
Currently based in Los Angeles, Andrew Hem has shown his paintings in galleries all over L.A. as well as in NYC, Seattle, Nashville, and in international venues.