Local artist Kim Cogan’s solo exhibition in San Francisco’s Hespe gallery takes its inspiration from the natural and man-made environments of his native area. Entitled ‘Flotsam’, this collection of paintings feature brooding melancholy explorations of the desolate and left over remnants of coastal structures.
Scenes of lighthouses, old boat houses, piers and boats are portrayed in dark greys and blacks, the built objects melting into their natural surroundings with the artists choppy brushstroke technique. Most of the works aim towards anonymity, and successfully retain a sense of other worldliness that make them universal. There are a few that are more recognizable as local edifices, Surfside Eleven is betrayed by the tell take steep hill and architectural style to be found in San Francisco’s sunset district.
Fleischhacker Pool Ruins, is an obvious giveaway according to its title, although the painting itself could be any abandoned building in Americas vast countryside. Fleichhaker also stands out as being one of the few painting to contain a different palette of colours, the mood here is overall grey and dystopian. This is carried through to the wave painting, small studies of waves set in oval frames that reference at once both contemporary surf photography and more traditional renaissance landscapes.
Cogan’s paintings are noticeable for their lack of life, set in an uninhabited dystopian landscape they remind me of the post-apocalyptic world of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
Kim Cogan’s Flotsam on view in Hespe gallery. 251 Post street, Suite 420, San Francisco, CA 94108