55 | Andrew Hem - “Create Like There’s No Tomorrow”
Born during his parents' flight from Cambodia in the wake of the Khmer Rogue genocide, Andrew Hem grew up poised in the balance between two cultures - the rural animistic society of his Khmer ancestors, and the dynamic urban arts of the tough Los Angeles neighborhood where his family eventually came to rest. Fascinated by graffiti at an early age, he honed his skills with graphics and composition on the walls of the city before following a passion for figure drawing to a degree in illustration from Art Center College of Design. Working in gouache, oil and acrylic, he weaves atmospheric, richly textured narratives in a vivid palette of twilight blues enlivened by swaths of deep red and splashes of golden light. His haunting impressions of culture and landscape evoke the life of the spirit through the visionary manifestation of memories and dreams.
Over the six years since his graduation from Art Center with a B.F.A. in Illustration, Andrew Hem has exhibited in venues worldwide, from Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York and the Portsmouth Museum of Art in New Hampshire to solo and group exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Nashville, Miami, Toronto, Zurich and Leece, Italy. He has lectured at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida. His personal work has been featured in Beyond Illustration, the Society of Illustrators annual, Communication Arts, Spectrum, American Illustration, 3x3, Swallow and Hi-Fructose, among others, and his illustration clients have included The Atlantic, New Scientist, the Los Angeles Times, the Fort Worth Opera, Adidas and Lucky Brand Jeans. He lives and works in Los Angeles.