Known for his atmospheric city portraits, Cogan was moved to rethink his approach to composition and technique. After years of working with rigid, angular structures on quadrilateral canvases, Cogan decided to compose his wave paintings on oval panels. “Ovals mimic the cylindrical, free-flowing shape of the wave,” he says of his chosen form. “I wanted to design a unique approach to depict the waves on a surface that has no corners or straight edges.”
Trained to work from observation, but unable to work from life, Cogan’s process involved the piecing together of thousands of photos in an attempt to capture the singular moment of a breaking wave. The finished paintings are referenced from several photographs, assembled together in sporadic brushstrokes to convey a sense of motion, color and mood.
Sea Change is both a meditation on and representation of a transformation for Cogan. It is a progression that captures the ever-shifting process of an artist’s work.