Painter Pamela Kogen in her studio at ICB in Sausalito, along with a trio of her recent work. Kogen’s work will appear throughout November at the MV Chamber at 85 Throckmorton Avenue. Photo by Margot Hartford.

Pamela Kogen’s paintings are an abstract response to her environment. Whether “afloat,” living on a sailboat and immersed in a continuously moving tidal landscape, or on land listening to a soundtrack while working in her studio, these layered sense experiences inspire and influence her work. Kogen observes shifts in color, light and sound and is reminded over and over of the constancy of change. Kogen, who works out of the historic ICB studio in Sausalito, says she is challenged by the endless circuitous  endeavor of expressing ephemeral moments.  

Kogen is a mixed media artist, and color is a passion and central element in her work. “As an artist, playing with an arsenal of color – my brush and crayons are magic wands, creating is the ultimate freedom.” Her painterly abstractions integrate the free spirit of her line and mark-making, creating a sense of spirited openness. Kogen’s process, rooted in a rigorous drawing practice,  focuses her desire to react in the moment, without hesitation, and capture it abstractly. 

Kogen is set to show her work on the walls of the Mill Valley Chamber’s space at 85 Throckmorton Ave., including a reception on Tuesday, Nov. 1, as part of the Mill Valley Arts Commission’s First Tuesday Artwalk (5:30-7:30pm). Aside from the First Tuesday Artwalk, the Chamber’s office is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 12-4pm. Kogen’s studio will also be open in December 3-4, 11am-5pm, for the ICB’s annual ‘Winter  Open Studio.’

Kogen is one of the featured artists in the recently published book  ‘Artists of the Bay Area- Volume Il’, curated and published by Jen Tough Gallery, and in November will be participating in the Simon Breitbard trunk  show benefiting the Brigid Alliance. Kogen received her BFA from Parsons School of Design (NYC).

The artist has moved between careers in fine art to fashion—as a wardrobe and prop stylist for the advertising and editorial media, to illustration—drawing for books editorials advertising and products, and back to fine art. The contrast between these visually informed and philosophically different fields both challenged and educate her eye. Perhaps a carry over from her days as a stylist: handling collecting packing unpacking and repacking garments for photo shoots, textiles became a consistent element in her art making. Initially, clothing was a formalistic vehicle—she was interested in the stories the iconic shapes told. Later I became interested in the basic simplicity and ubiquity of cloth in our lives and made work out of discarded fabric that had a history of wear or she imbedded fabric in paintings and drawings for its textural qualities. She spends several months a year living on a boat, looking up at the powerful expanse of sail capturing the wind, its’ shape silhouetted against the sky, her appreciation for textiles has only deepened.

During periods of time “onboard,” sheltering in a shifting place, the awareness of the moment is often important and always palpable. There is a constant watch on the weather, feeling for the wind, taking note of the tides and always a marveling at the changes in light and the movement of the heavens. Everything is interdependent. Back on land, she am humbly aware of her place in the natural world and grateful for the influence of all these elements on her ever evolving work.

Born on the east coast, Kogen currently lives in San Francisco.

Instagram: @pamelakogen



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