As you enter the space, light emits from all directions. Shiny antique space heaters reflect the glow of colored LEDs, handwritten 17th century French legal documents combined into a collage are lit from behind, a large juke-box hops with color changing lights, and Rothko inspired glass washboards refract light in zigzag patterns, all vie for your visual engagement. You have entered the world of Sanford Kogan Light Art.
Sanford was born in Richmond, Virginia during a time of radical change and development. In his youth, he loved photography and his early approach to photography informs his work as an artist today. Back then, he captured images with a concern for 3 important elements; the play of light, the presence of form, and viewing the world with focus and intention.
Sanford left Richmond to attend Cornell University and then took an unexpected turn in his artist’s journey, pursuing a career in tech. In the mid-90’s he moved up the ranks at HP and ultimately landed in Grenoble France, working in the world of corporate tech for the computing giant as a European Program Manager. For 20 years, Sanford pursued the corporate dream. He lived and worked in France and fell in love with the people, food, music, and art.
However, the pervasive aesthetics of his adopted country boosted his art calling; And in 2007, Sanford left the corporate world to rededicate himself to his art practice. Successful shows of his work in galleries in Paris, Berlin, and Grenoble encouraged his focus. In 2015, he returned to Virginia, setting up shop on historic West Avenue where he resides and works today.
Fast forward from the 1970’s to today and you will see the expression of his early photographic learnings, mentioned earlier. Whether frequenting the antique markets of France or rural Virginia, Sanford sees anew with intention, gleaning from a “smorgasbord” of interesting objects he might run across. He observes the form of the curated object. He begins to envision how light might enhance it. And how the object might disrupt or otherwise modify the light embedded within. His direction might have shifted but his focus and intent remain constant.
Experiencing Kogan’s artwork is a journey invoking memories of the past and whimsical imaginings of a brighter future.