Michael Kagan’s Space-Based Paintings Explore the Fatalistic Power of Manmade Machinery

Contact Light, 2014, Oil and linen, 60 x 45 inches

Contact Light, 2014, Oil and linen, 60 x 45 inches

Heavily tinted blue paintings form space stations, spacesuits, and rockets just after blast. Michael Kagan paints these large-scale works to celebrate the man-made object—machinery that both protects and holds the possibility of instantly killing those that operate the equipment from the inside. To paint the large works, Kagan utilizes an impasto technique with thick strokes that are deliberate and unique, showing an aggression in his application of oil paint on linen.

The New York-based artist focuses on iconic images in his practice, switching back and forth between abstract and representational styles. “The painting is finished when it can fall apart and come back together depending on how it is read and the closeness to the work,” said Kagan about his work. “Each painting is an image, a snapshot, a flash moment, a quick read that is locked into memory by the iconic silhouettes.”

Kagan exhibited this series of space-based paintings last year at Joshua Liner Gallery in an exhibition titled Thunder in the Distance. He was also recently commissioned by The Smithsonian to create three large paintings inspired by their air and space archives. You can see more of his work on his Instagram here. (via Fubiz)

One Day This Will All Be Yours, 2014, Oil and linen, 60 x 80 inches

One Day This Will All Be Yours, 2014, Oil and linen, 60 x 80 inches

Reflector, 2014, Oil and linen, 36 x 36 inches

Reflector, 2014, Oil and linen, 36 x 36 inches

We Live On In The Thoughts Of Others, 2014, Oil and linen, 36 x 36 inches

We Live On In The Thoughts Of Others, 2014, Oil and linen, 36 x 36 inches

Apollo, 2010, Oil and linen, 60 x 34 inches

Apollo, 2010, Oil and linen, 60 x 34 inches

Supersonic, 2014, Oil and linen, 72 x 54 inches

Supersonic, 2014, Oil and linen, 72 x 54 inches

Mankind, 2014, Oil and linen, 96 x 54 inches

Mankind, 2014, Oil and linen, 96 x 54 inches

With All The F*cking Force, 2011, Oil and linen, 60 x 80 inches

With All The Fucking Force, 2011, Oil and linen, 60 x 80 inches

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