Khosnaran Khurelbaatar, also known by the artist name “Heesco”, is a Mongolian-Australian muralist and fine artist based in Melbourne, Australia.
Heesco’s murals can be found throughout Australia from major cities to rural areas. His experimental, emotive and genre defying artworks gained him a notable following in Australia and overseas. In a prolific career spanning two decades, Heesco has had 7 solo exhibitions, numerous group exhibitions, and a string of high-profile collaborative projects and profiles in national and international media and publications.
Born in 1979 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Heesco moved to Australia in 1999. He graduated Sydney College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree in 2014. Heesco relocated to Melbourne in 2010, where he has cemented his name as one of the leading urban-contemporary artists, specialising in large scale murals.
Stylistically, Heesco draws influences from a spectacularly wide range of visual styles, from classic renaissance realism, gestural abstraction, surrealism, to pop art and comic book illustrations, intertwined with hip-hop, punk rock, graffiti and street art sensibilities, with a healthy dose of Mongolian cultural references thrown in for good measure. The results are often technically brilliant, visually striking, and conceptually unique.
Some of his career highlights include creating silo artworks in Karoonda, SA, as well as silos in Grenfell and Weethalle, both located in central NSW. Commissioned by the Bland Shire Council, the 22m tall and 50m wide Weethalle silos were the first silos to be painted in NSW, and featured on limited edition stamps by Australia Post. The same year he was commissioned to paint 5 portraits of top chefs for the prestigious World’s 50 Best event held for the first time in Melbourne, and received global media coverage. Heesco worked on “Twist At Every Turn” an Australia-wide tourism campaign by Visit Victoria. In 2017 Heesco curated a mural dedicated to Sustainabl Development Goals (SDGs) for the United Nations in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where local artists created a 100m long mural, with 17 panels each dedicated to an SDG. His politically charged work was featured on the cover of the Griffith Review issue no.57 from Griffith University. Heescois also a regular collaborator with the world renowned Attica restaurant, having created multiple murals, illustrations, and branding work over the years, as well as work for Ben Shewry’s WAW Gathering festival. Past clients include Victoria University, UberEATS, Youtube, 4A Centre for Contemporary Art, Shepparton Art Museum, Nike, NEP Australia, Ground Central Coffee Company (NYC), Nhulunbuy Corporation, NT.
Heesco also frequently works with local councils in youth and community development programs, as well as schools and universities, as a mentor and workshop coordinator, as well as pro bono work for NGOs and charity organisations.
Heesco is a Doug Moran National Portrait Prize finalist, winner of Footscray Art Prize (for his 5 storeys tall mural “Miss Citizen of the World”), and is the subject of a mini-documentary “Heesco – Homeland, Mongolia”.
Heesco works out of Versus Studios in Melbourne.