Since he first emerged as the most artistically capable figure in the 1990s poster art renaissance, Derek Hess has made a name for himself in the worlds of fine arts, album covers, apparel design, tattooing, and even music festivals. Though he explores dark and intense themes, he’s nonetheless made art so broadly appealing that his work has been collected in the Louvre, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in tattoo parlors—and Hess is equally proud to be in all of those places.
Born in Cleveland in 1964, Hess’ ascendance in the arts should probably come as little surprise. His father, Roy Hess, was a noteworthy designer, and chairman of the lauded industrial design department at the Cleveland Institute of Art. From a young age, Hess was correctly trained in classical art and design.