Focusing on iconic images like astronauts, rockets blasting off, and the cockpit of a shuttle, Brooklyn, NY-based artist Michael Kagan illustrates split-second moments of risk and triumph in his space-inspired oil paintings. Using a bold impasto technique, Kagan layers thick, aggressive strokes of paint on linen, never going back over what he's painted. His blue-tinted work, which oscillates between abstract and figurative depending on the perspective, depicts the union of man and machinery in the quest to breach the final frontier.
Influenced by a childhood spent peering into telescopes and watching jets lifting off from a nearby base in Virginia, Kagan uses art to explore humankind's ability to achieve feats outside of their physical means. “My work focuses on iconic images like man pushing the limit of what he can do and knowing he might die doing it,” the painter said in an interview with The Issue Ten. “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. Each painting is an image, a snapshot, a flash moment, a quick read that is locked into memory by the iconic silhouettes.”