Painter Rachel Bess Moves from Perihelion Arts to Lisa Sette Gallery

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

If art imitates life, then Phoenix-based painter Rachel Bess is living in a world full of stunningly corporeal ghosts. 

Her oil paintings on panel juxtapose surreal backgrounds with portraits so realistic they look like photos of real people frozen in fantastical moments.

It's no wonder, then, that the acclaimed Lisa Sette Gallery in Scottsdale is now showing Bess' work. For the past few years, Bess' paintings have been represented by Perihelion Arts in downtown Phoenix, a gallery known for hosting local cutting edge and fringe art (as well as pop art by musicians like Devo singer Mark Mothersbaugh and former Marilyn Manson bassist Gidget Gein).
Her move to Lisa Sette Gallery is a boost, as the gallery's been the launch point for internationally known Phoenix-based artists like Angela Ellsworth, whose work was chosen for the 17th Biennale of Sydney in Australia. Bess' work will bring a new, darker aesthetic to the gallery, and she's enthusiastic about the move.

Bess' move from Perihelion to Lisa Sette was facilitated by Perihelion co-owner Amy Young and Sette's assistant, Duane Smith. Both of them encouraged Sette to look into Bess' art, and Sette says she liked what she saw. 

"I see some great potential there," Sette says. "I'm interested in showing Phoenix artists, and younger artists, because I think the younger artists can learn from the older artists, and vice versa. I don't show anything I don't like."

Perihelion Arts will continue to represent Bess' work in Europe. "We have built a base of collectors for Rachel's work around the world and we know that will continue to grow," Amy Young says. "She is extremely dedicated to her career and it has been a thrill to see nuances in every new show. Her painting is never not stunning."

Lisa Sette says she received the first of Bess' work yesterday morning -- two small paintings. More of Bess' work will arrive at the gallery over the next several months, and the first Rachel Bess show at Lisa Sette Gallery is expected to happen in early 2012. "Rachel's gonna be busy," Sette says with a laugh.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.