Peter Hess

About The Artwork

Monarch, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, painted tiles

At the center of the work is a rendering of Monarch, the last California Grizzly Bear in captivity, who died at the San Francisco Zoo in 1911. Surrounding Monarch are painted tiles with various depictions of some of the things which made life for the California Grizzly unendurable following the arrival of European settlers to California, including bear hunts for meat and bounty and bull and bear contests. Monarch is also shown stuffed and mounted at San Francisco's Academy of Sciences and, of course, is represented in California's state flag.

As the Crow Flies, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, painted tiles

As the Crow Flies shows an aerial view of Northeast Los Angeles, framed by painted tiles highlighting historical and contemporary aspects of a vibrant and ever-changing community. Included are the statues from the entrance of L.A.'s first zoo in Lincoln Park, a window from the Breed Street Shul, the Evergreen Cemetery, a reference to Mount Washington's Self-Realization Fellowship, as well as more contemporary references like Avenue 50 Studio and Chicken Boy.