Play is at the core of Bart Hess’ practice – a creative process where everyday materials are manipulated within the framework of the human body creating a visual world of his own which links art, fashion and textiles. He created a slime garment for Lady Gaga and has worked in collaboration with photographer Nick Knight.
Bart’s first collection, called ‘A Hunt for High Tech’, created a fictional world of human-like animal species using materials far from nature, such as plastic, foil, silicone and pins. Synthetic skins and furs were created by magnifying and exaggerating their characteristics until his imagined archetype emerged.
Despite the futuristic nature of his work, it is more traditional craftsmanship than technology involved along with basic video-editing techniques which together alter simple materials into otherworldly animations and materials merge with the body. In one video Shaved he uses a giant blade to create aerodynamic shapes of shaving foam on a swimmer’s body, allowing the audience to experience the materials without physically doing so.
His latest project Digital Artefacts involves creating a wax mixture that hardens on the body when it is pulled underwater in a water tank where the model is dipped in creating shapes similar to an echo of the body’s’ movements. The resulting wax shapes were exhibited at the Architecture Triennale, Lisbon.