The Netherlands, 02-01-1984
The work of Bart Hess is of the most tactile and intuitive nature. He first delved into instinctive textiles when studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where he created A Hunt for High Tech, a collection of materials that mimicked the bestial outer layers of unfamiliar hybrid species, accompanied by an evocative film that brilliantly brought his concepts to life. Over the past ten years, Hess has developed an impressive roster of work. He has pinned, stretched, slimed and scraped materials in relation to the human body, and collaborated with the likes of Lucy McRae, Nick Knight, Lady Gaga, Iris van Herpen and Walter van Beirendonck.
Hess feels that our bodies are increasingly becoming a platform for sensitive and interactive technology and has constantly exposed the intimate relationship materials have upon our skin. Foamy, sweaty, blobular and molecular are the kinds of surfaces that Hess concocts. Flirting with a touch of the grotesque and the macabre, he explains that he tries “to find a balance between beauty and disgust or horror. I think the darker side of beauty has less restrictions because it hasn’t been explored that much, which makes it more interesting for me to show to my audience”. Through the use of design, film, photography and installation, Hess has found intimate ways for his textiles to communicate with their “audience”.