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John Brinton Hogan: Brightest Beacons, Blindest Eyes

Brightest Beacons, Blindest Eyes
John Brinton Hogan

September 24 - October 17, 2019

Reception: Thursday, September 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, FA 103.

Light refreshments. Music by San Diego Mesa College Music Department Students.

Park in Lot 1 in front of the Student Service Building and the NEW Fine Arts Building.

Visit the artist website: www.johnbrintonhogan.comFollow him on Instagram: @johnbrintonhogan

The San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery is proud to present John Brinton Hogan’s first solo exhibition. 

In his most recent series of works, Hogan blurs the boundaries between painting and photography by enhancing his original photographic images with minutely detailed mixed-media applications and extreme manipulation of the printing process. The beautifully rendered large-format works on paper featured in this exhibition are part of a body of work titled Visual Aphasia.These pictures capture human figures as they move through the landscape, often engaged in recreational, artistic, or environmentally-minded pursuits. Hogan has removed the details of bodies in the scenes leaving an eerie imprint, in glitter or thick pigment, of their silhouetted forms.

Hogan’s mysterious and sometimes sinister landscapes evoke feelings of personal or ecological loss. The viewer will ponder the purpose and nature of these mysterious characters: are they geologists exploring, lost hikers finding their way, or could they be alien visitors? 

John Brinton Hogan traveled widely as a skateboard photographer before spending several years as a touring and recording musician. The late 90’s found him working in the New York film industry; it was during these years he began his first sustained visual arts practice. Upon returning to California, he began documenting human intervention within the haunting natural landscapes of the American West. With a nod to the Hudson River School and depictions of “the sublime,” Hogan distorts the formula by injecting diverse influences: 70’s album cover artwork, the Finish Fetish movement, sci-fi movies, hot rod and low-rider cultures, amongst others.

In particular, the 1953 motion picture version of War of the Worlds resonates. In a recent interview, Hogan speaks of the film he watched on late night TV as a boy: “There were scenes that totally freaked me out where the laser beam from the Martians freezes people, and the human elements in the frame glow red or blue or green, and then—they just cease to exist.”

In the construction of these pieces, dozens of coats of paint, painstakingly applied, combine to provide dimension to the otherwise flat surface of the print.  In his statement on the work, Hogan writes: “The repetition of painting human forms, first out of the picture, then back in, brings to mind my father’s Rosary recitations: slow, deliberate, looping, infinite. Perhaps these gestures are my attempt at invocation. Quiet prayers, soft meditations, in the hopes I’m still living in a world I’m sure I saw, once." 

Hogan’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, but this will be his first solo exhibition in San Diego. He has been a resident artist at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson (AZ) and at the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover (UT), where he had his first solo exhibition. His work is in the collection of the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson (AZ) and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. He has participated in exhibitions at the Phoenix Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson (AZ); the Oceanside Museum of Art; Imperial Valley Desert Museum and numerous others. International exhibits include Tokyo Photo, Japan; “Terra Incognita” in the Netherlands; "Dark Milk," Copenhagen, Denmark; and Adapta Project in Tijuana, Mexico.