ARTIST: Jacob Hogan
EXHIBITION: Esoteric Murmurs
MEDIA: Metal and Mixed Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art Dutzi Gallery
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Jacob Hogan is a student at the CSULB School of Art, and he’ll be finishing his BFA in the Metals Program in May. When Hogan was a kid, he was obsessed with taking apart his toys. He loved seeing how they worked, what they looked like on the inside, seeing how he could change them. Eventually he got older, and he switched to cars. He realized one day that he was interested in creating something different, he wanted to design things that didn’t exist yet. He applied for the metals program, because it’s what he grew up with, and it’s what he was most interested in. However, the Metal program is geared towards jewelry, but Hogan made it work, designing objects unique and purposeful. After graduating in May, he hopes to get his masters in either industrial design or product design.
Most of Hogan’s work was, (surprise) made of metal. Hogan explained to me that all of his work serves a purpose. It’s not necessarily supposed to evoke an emotional response. This was obvious after looking at his work. He displays lights that he’s made, jewelry (with a twist), tea infusers etc. Hogan also has a work bench in the exhibit where he actually works as people walk through his gallery. It is not only apart of the exhibit, but shows the process behind his work, something that Hogan emphasized. His work combined to set one tone that resonated throughout the gallery. The room had a certain “vibe” you could say, all of the pieces worked together to complete the exhibit.
Walking around the exhibit, Hogan’s work feels very personal/intimate. There are family photos hanging on the wall, hand written notes on the work desk, he even plays music in the gallery that he personally likes to listen too. His work is straight to the point, you look at it and immediately know what it is. Hogan told me that he feels weird calling himself an artist because his pieces have a purpose, they are products, not necessarily artwork. Something that intrigued me was all of the family photos. Hogan told me that he was exploring how we’re influenced both consciously and subconsciously by our ancestors. He told me that his parents never pressured him to do something specific, but he thinks his love for working with his hands came from his lineage, and past ancestors.
When entering the gallery Hogan addresses you personally. I was thrown off. Usually at the galleries you rarely interact with the artists unless you’re interviewing them. However, Hogan sees the table-outside approach as lazy. He wanted his exhibit to be more personal, he even does work in front of visitors, at a table set up in the gallery. I really liked that about Hogan’s exhibit, I learned far more about him, and his art than I did at all past gallery visits. Something I found interesting about Hogan was that no one had ever seen his work before- specifically his family. After four years of working in the metals program this exhibit was their first time seeing his work, and he says they loved it. I liked his gallery because it was laid back, he wanted “no pedestals”. His exhibit was also unique because while it was still an art display, each object had a purpose behind it which I hadn’t seen before. Hogan’s exhibit was one of my favorite so far, and his work was truly unique.