IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact: Laurie Hogin


As of January 2016, KDR has joined its affiliate PROGRAPHICA Gallery in Seattle, WA, where Eleana Del Rio and Norman Lundin will curate exhibitions jointly as well as independently within its new enitity: Prographica / KDR.

Koplin Del Rio (formerly of Culver City, CA) is pleased to present its debut exhibition in Seattle: IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact features gallery artists: Sandow Birk, Melissa Cooke, Einar & Jamex de la Torre, Laurie Hogin, Zhi Lin, Kerry James Marshall and Robert Pruitt, curated by Eleana Del Rio.

IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact is the first of a series of three exhibitions, each featuring a select group of long-time Koplin Del Rio (KDR) gallery artists. As KDR transitions its footprint to the Pacific Northwest, the exhibitions will unveil the gallery’s distinct identity and unique visual program through the artists it represents. These artists produce work that taps into the pulse of our current point in history in order to examine identity on multiple levels—self, community and nation.

Artist interview #37: Laurie Hogin

1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.

I love large, open, light-filled spaces, of the kind historically used for every kind of material production or activity, including studio art—lofts, barns, garrets. This is not hip or politically correct, because it can be seen as romantic or sentimental, but it is the truth. I love the poetics of space. My studio is a pole-barn type structure attached to the home I share with my husband, son and our two pets, Rocky, an Australian Cattle Dog and Fiona, a dove-gray Domestic Long Hair cat. It is located in a rural area of unincorporated Champaign County, in Central Illinois. It is surrounded by prairie weeds, industrial corn and soy fields, and some woods along the Sangamon River. My work is solitary, and my space is conducive to productive solitude. I love the aesthetics of how my labor fits into it—my easel, my drafting table, my stacks of books and my reading couch, my desk and computer for writing, my shelves with collections of models, rocks and minerals, feathers, bones, toys, clippings from ads and other scraps of information—sketches, notes, downloaded images. I don’t really like music, although I understand that it can be an expression of genius, and I am interested in it intellectually. I grew up with a parent who was a stunningly talented pianist, so I have an oddly developed ear for someone who is otherwise sort of indifferent. When I do crave music, it is usually David Bowie, from his most popular songs to his more experimental, atmospheric work. I also have a taste for what many of my friends and colleagues would consider unsophisticated pop songs, but I don’t care—I listen in the car! I do like to sing. Light—the more, the broader the spectrum, the better for making art and for writing; for reading, I like a pool of warm light in the gloom—a clip lamp on the back of my couch.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?

I am motivated to be here by all that I keep and do here, which is pretty much whenever I am not needed elsewhere, or engaged with students, colleagues, friends or family. I am very social and outgoing, but have a great need and desire for solitude.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

Painting is, for me, the most plastic, the most comprehensive, and the most resonant way to make art—to bring to conscious perception things that would not otherwise exist. After that, it is writing, for the same reasons. After that, drawing. I work on many years’ worth of projects at a time.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?

My husband, son and I have great conversations! We love to read and consume media, including movies, video games and many popular cable television shows, and discuss politics, culture, media, art and history as well as personal stuff. I love mountain biking, and there is a 600-acre park, filled with steep little moraines, woods and prairie just three miles down the county road that runs past our house. Granted, it’s not the Sierra Nevadas or Moab, but it’ll do!

5. In what way is your work a reflection of this point in history?

Every artist channels the sum total of their biology and experience, a unique subjecthood at a specific point in history. I am certainly conscious of and interested in this phenomenon, and think my best work synthesizes my favorite aesthetic histories and languages with my thoughts and experiences as a contemporary person.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY: A Visual Artifact, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?

I suppose these two paragraphs, copied below from a recent “Artist’s Statement”, might be a good descriptive introduction: My work of the past 20 years has consisted primarily of allegorical paintings of mutant plants and animals in languishing, overgrown landscape settings or posed as though for classical still life or portraiture. My current interests include examining human impulses, desires, and needs, including pleasure, intoxication, addiction, the erotic, totem, violence, greed, grief, and love. These aspects of human experience and identity, resultant of the interplay of evolutionary biology and culture, find expression in the history of visual culture as well as in the nearly schizoid array of cultural material and commodity in contemporary consumer capital. I combine various tropes from the history of painting, natural history and scientific display, pornography, fashion photography and retail display with narrative allegory, often describing political, social, economic, and emotional phenomena. As a painter, I value the visual, tactile and poetic pleasures of what paint can do and what it’s for: It’s formal and material qualities, its plasticity, and its usefulness in appropriating languages from the history of its use to certain semiotic purposes. My color palette has acquired the Day-Glo intensity of contemporary media landscapes; I revel in its visuality and vulgar seductiveness as much as cast a critical eye. My animals remain allegories of culture as much as avatars of my own psyche, whose expressions engage with the emotionality of daily fears, joys, pleasures, desires and outrages, and whose furs and skins are both tactile and toxic.



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