Rachel Bess


I make small, detailed oil paintings using traditional techniques. I am visually inspired by the figure and the complex textures in flesh, fabric, and glossy surfaces. The starting point for the ideas behind many of my paintings is the turmoil that is so often a part of the mortal experience. Whether this occurs between people, between people and their surroundings, or is strictly internal, the adventure of living is wrought with these conflicting moments of pride, fear, sadness, and hostility. Many of my paintings have a narrative quality, but the outward story is simply the visual mechanism that enables me to paint the tensions, heightened moods, and rich detail in the subjects.

Education
B.F.A. in Painting from the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University, 2001.

Selected Recent Solo Shows
2016
Force of Nature beinArt Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Lisa Sette Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona

2015
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

2014
Light, Color, Darkness Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona

2012
Icons of a Parallel Universe Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona

2011
The Ghost Show Perihelion Arts, Phoenix, Arizona

2010
Between Dusk and Dawn, Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, California.
Rachel's Tiny Show, Perihelion Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona
Nature: Captured and Created, Rodger LaPelle Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2009
Diving Nature Perihelion Arts, Phoenix, Arizona.
In Between Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, California.

2008
Central Arizona College, Casa Grande, Arizona.
CattleTrack Arts Compound, Scottsdale, Arizona.

2007
Trinity Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2006
Modified Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona.

2005
Casa Grande Museum of Art, Casa Grande, Arizona.


Selected Recent Group Shows
2016
Small Works beinArt Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2015
30 Years Lisa Sette Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona

2014
Chaos Theory 15 Legend City Studios, Phoenix, Arizona
Hello Midtown! Lisa Sette Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona

2013
Art Miami with Lisa Sette Gallery, Miami, Florida
Small Scale/Big Ideas Tansey Contemporary, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Messin with the Masters Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona
Chaos Theory 14 Legend City Studios, Phoenix, Arizona
Summer Gems Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona

2012
Tiny, Small, Diminutive and Delectable Rodger LaPelle Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Art Miami with Lisa Sette Gallery, Miami, Florida

2011
Dystopia, Beinart Group Show, Los Angeles California

2010
Lead Poisoning, Last Rites Gallery, New York City

2009
Art Fair 21 Cologne, Germany
Io Saturnalia Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, California

2008
Art Fair 21 Cologne, Germany
Crimes on Canvas, Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
Transgression, Last Rites Gallery, New York, New York
The Museum Show, M Modern Gallery, Palm Springs, California
Nine, Modified Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona

2007
Bridge Fair with Perihelion Gallery, Miami, Florida
Molten Brothers Deck Show Braggs Pie Factory, Phoenix, Arizona
Chaos Theory 8 Legend City, Phoenix, Arizona
Carnaval! Rio di Oba ASU Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona.

2006
Annual Group Drawing Show, Perihelion Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona.
Chaos Theory 7, Legend City, Phoenix, Arizona.
Saints and Sirens, Blue Space Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri.
Group Show, Chocolate Factory, Phoenix, Arizona.

2005
Chaos Theory 6, Legend City, Phoenix, Arizona.
Non Compos Mentis, Blue Space Gallery, Los Angeles, California.


Selected Publications
Java Magazine, May 2011, writer Dominique Chatterjee
Phoenix New Times, May 2009, writer Wynter Holden
944 Magazine, April 2008, writer Mindy Lee
Stretching Canvas Magazine (First Issue!), January 2008, writer Amy Young
Phoenix New Times, "Best of Phoenix" 2007
Phoenix Magazine, October 2007
Desert Living Magazine, March 2007
Phoenix New Times, November 2006, writer Clay McNear
Kansas City Star, September 21, 2006, writer Alex Schubert
Present Magazine, September 2006, writer Pete Dulin
Phoenix New Times (Cover Story), August 2004, writer Ashlea Deahl
Arizona Republic, January 21, 2002, writer John Villani
Art Papers Magazine, May/June Issue 2002, writer Kurt von Behrmann

Teaching
2015: Scottsdale Artist School
2013: Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Visions Program
2001-2007: Drawing Instructor at New School for the Arts, Tempe, Arizona

Grants
Contemporary Forum Arlene and Morton Scult Artist Award
Arizona Commission on the Arts Career Development Grant
Contemporary Forum Materials Grant
Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Career Development Grant