Andrew Hem couldn’t wait to get into the world: the artist was born on a flight from Cambodia. His energetic approach to life is clearly evident in his paintings, which often feature dynamic human and animal figures and equally vibrant surroundings. Dream But Don’t Sleep is Hem’s latest collection and is being exhibited at Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles.
Raised in Los Angeles, Hem cut his artistic teeth in graffiti before making the transition to figurative painting at art college. The street aesthetic has never left though, and urban influences resonate even in woodland and jungle scenes. Something unexpected is never far away in his oil, acrylic and gouache canvases. Geometric shapes intrude onto a forest scene. Strange faces appear. A fire in the background of an otherwise serene, snow-blanketed clearing in Asia might be a burning car in Compton. Are those fighting tigers sending the birds fleeing, or are they gathering to watch? Closing date is 29 March.