In Rob Hessler’s new exhibit titled “The Other Side of the World, Part 2” at Lois Lambert Gallery’s “Project Room,” he has created 19 highly detailed drawings using pen, marker, and pencil on paper that depict consequential events throughout history. Hessler’s one-of-a-kind drawings demonstrate the impact of these events with a unique comic realism that offers a provocative perspective into history. The collection creates an alternative universe, whose timeline incorporates elements of fantasy and humor. An opening reception will be held September 6th from 6 – 9 PM. The show will be on view through November 9th, 2014.
His piece entitled “Hadrian’s Wall” depicts an historical pattern in which people have built walls to divide cultures and ultimately cause conflicts. Hadrian’s Wall was a defensive fortification built by Roman emperor Hadrian in 122 AD. The 73 mile long wall was built to separate the Romans from threatening inhabitants in the north. Rob’s interpretation of Hadrian’s Wall is a hole in the edifice that shows purple and white heather, flowers that grows in what is now Scotland and England. The purple heather symbolizes beauty of the land and the white heather symbolizes protection and safety.
For each theme, Rob creates two drawings: one large, and one smaller zoomed-in counterpart depicting the imaginary character: “The One in the Duck Feather Cloak.” As an imaginative explorer, it attempts to make sense of its surroundings. Inspired from the quote, “Like water off a duck’s back,” The One in the Duck Feather Cloak is an observer and “doesn’t sweat the small stuff.”
“Tower Bridge,” another drawing in the collection, calls attention to the heightened surveillance in London after the IRA bombings in the 1990s and its counterpart piece, “The One in the Duck Feather Cloak Avoids Detection at Tower Bridge” depicts an imaginary character dodging observation. Both drawings, however, are abundant with nasturtium flowers, a colorful symbol of British patriotism. Nature, a recurring motif in Hessler’s drawings, as well as his distinct cartoon realism technique temper the serious events in a lighthearted manner.
Hessler, born in New Jersey, grew up in Washington D.C. area and received his degree in Studio Art at George Mason University. Rob has exhibited throughout the United States.
Lois Lambert Gallery
Gallery of Functional Art
2525 Michigan Avenue E3
Santa Monica, CA 90404