Joe Hengst (b.1991) is an artist living in Northern California. He received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2013.
Hengst's work depicts mankind’s present attempt to leave nature while simultaneously showing our coexistence with the natural world. Humans have started to rely on a fabricated society. With our gradual incline towards artificiality, some of us have almost forgotten: All humans need nature to survive. Though we have a symbiotic relationship with nature, we still try to control, synthesize, and simplify it. Some of the forms Hengst paints represent the artificial alternatives to nature that we have created.
Humans and nature are part of the boundless singularity of the universe. However, most of us romanticize nature as a place where we can come and go as we please. Hengst’s paintings represent this romanticized viewpoint, and he does this through automatism, realizations from the collective unconscious, as well as his own subconscious.