Kim Cogan Freezes San Francisco’s Old Roberts Motel

Artist Kim Cogan returns with his latest homage to San Francisco as he pays homage to the Bay Area’s ever changing beach side with Old Roberts Motel. Pulled from Cogan’s 2015 solo exhibition The Other Side, this limited edition captures the character and charm of Outer Sunset before it’s scrappy beach motels were replaced by luxury condos. Pieced together using abstract memories and the nostalgia of a distinct time and place Cogan creates a new, dream-like reality taking viewers into a undefined narrative masterfully painted with layered brushstrokes and luminous color. Read on as Kim Cogan gives us the full story behind Old Roberts Motel…


1x: Tell us a little bit about this piece, anything immediate you would like us to highlight about this image?
Kim Cogan:  The painting was inspired by an actual location, the Roberts Motel in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset. On the same block was the Ocean Beach Diner, and my second home, Aqua Surf Shop. The beach was a block away, and there was a mini ramp to skate in the back.  I have many great memories of that place. I scraped my pennies together and bought my first real deal surfboard from there long ago.

When I heard news that the entire block was being bulldozed to build luxury condos, I decided this could be an interesting subject.  It’s upsetting to see the character and charm of the neighborhood being replaced by housing that would be unaffordable to many people. Times are changing for better or for worse. Fortunately, Aqua Surf Shop has since relocated. I never wanted to stay at that seedy looking motel, but it made a perfect setting for a painting.


1x: Was this image part of a recent theme, series or show that you had? If so how did it fit into that given grouping?
Cogan:  This painting was included in my 2015 solo exhibition, The Other Side. The show focused on realism and memory. I wanted to piece together abstract memories with the nostalgia of a distinct time and place to create a new, dream-like reality. I combined old photographs with new ones to make complete images, very similar to how you might construct a memory in your head.

1x: When was this created and what materials were used?
Cogan: This piece was created in 2015 using oil on canvas.


1x: Tell us how the idea and execution came about for this image?    
Cogan:  Before demolition began, after midnight I wandered over and got a few reference photos of the location. It was quite a surreal experience. It looked as if everyone suddenly evacuated and an apocalypse had occurred. The reference photos were edited to form a singular collage to work from. The car was added in later, to serve as a kind of metaphor and undefined narrative.


1x: How long did each of this piece take?    
Cogan:  Generally, I work off and on several paintings simultaneously for several months. My paintings are built up in several layers. Sometimes drying time is needed in between. This painting was done in between exhibitions.

1x: What is unique about this imagery compared with your other work?     
Cogan:  This painting is one of a kind, and can never duplicated. What sets this painting apart from others is the subject, the light is portrayed and the luminous color, the bold brushstrokes and layering of paint, and the mood.


1x: Why should people buy this one of these prints?    
Cogan:  If it speaks to you and you love it, then buy it.

1x: Describe this image in one gut reaction word.     
Cogan:  Haunted.

kim-cogan-old-roberts-motel-27x15-1xrun-01Old Roberts Motel by Kim Cogan – Click To Purchase

1x: It’s been a little bit since our last release with you, how did 2016 wrap up for you and what’s on tap for you in 2017?     
Cogan:  I ended 2016 overdosing on both politics and social media. I think everyone now is experiencing the effects how too much of both can be incredibly detrimental for us. I’ve been focusing on developing new works for my galleries in New York and Los Angeles.

1x: Any artists new or old that have been inspiring you as of late?     
Cogan:  Recently, I visited the newly opened Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis to see the inaugural show of first-generation art faculty (1952-70), which included artists Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, Manuel Neri, Daniel Shapiro, Roland Petersen, to name a few. These are Bay Area art heroes that paved the way and inspired me during the years I was studying, and I am still in awe.  Looking forward to upcoming Matisse and Diebenkorn show at the SFMOMA.


1x: What was the last piece of art that you bought?    
Cogan:  Mostly trades. When I can’t buy or trade art, I opt for print. I’ve got a good collection of art books from over the years. There is a really great selection through Crown Point Press, Park Life, and of course Green Apple Books.

1x: Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?    
Cogan:  For now, I’m excited to be working on paintings that have been on the back burner for a while. These paintings didn’t fit into a show because of either the deadline or subject matter, or both.


1xRUN: Where else can people find you?
Kim Cogan: WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagram + Twitter  @KimCogan


Read more about Kim Cogan on 1xNEWS.