Boris Kogan. The artist with a red sketchbook.
The moment is the here and now that possesses our lives. It’s where the colors of life reside. It’s where the shades of life, fateful meetings, and passions collide. We tend to think that the moment is impossible to catch . But the next time you are walking through the streets of Moscow, don’t miss your chance to meet an artist, who can help you capture this moment. The artist with the red sketchbook.
Boris Kogan is an artist coming from Stary Oskol in Belgorod Region and currently living and working in Moscow. When remembering how art came into his life, he says that it has always been there, while a broad smile spreads across his face. He has painted and sketched since school. His teachers support his developing talents. Since that time he hasn’t been able to picture his life without brushes and paints.
Later, while he was working for a degree as a structural engineer, he was able to use his extraordinary abilities in the field of industrial design. But it was his passion for painting that pushed him to pursue and develop his artistic skills throughout his life.
He started with water colors and pencils but as all other great impressionists he didn’t hesitate to transition to oil painting. Indeed, oil paints can capture the charm of this moment with exquisite gentleness and expression. The early works of Boris are multi-layered with meticulous attention to detail, and the inspiration for them was untouched nature: forest meadows, mountain expanses, and seascapes.
Gradually, as his own style developed, Boris began to reduce the number of layers on the canvas, preferring the quicker work of the technique “Alla prima” (Italian for “in one sitting”). This technique allowed Boris to get closer to his main goal: capturing the moment.
However, as Boris developed, the content of this moment gradually changed, slowly shifting to a more urban perspective. From woodlands to urban jungle, from the silent scenery to the crowded streets.
Boris often admits that the urban landscape is his favorite motif. Painting among people, allowing them to not only be spectators but even in a way participants in the process, — this is what gives him the most pleasure. In the flow of traffic, the chaos of lights, and variety of sounds surely beats the rhythm of city life, which Boris displays for any weather or season. Whether windy, wet or sunny day, whether snow or sleet, he can be seen on the streets of Moscow, transferring to canvas his impression of the events with bold strokes. Not only does he not mind the attention of by passers, but even finds it fun. Being in the center of the situation is a lot more exciting than being away from it. Boris laughing, says that even the darkest night will not stop him, and if he thought of something to paint in the dark, he heads out with a flashlight.
The vast majority of the work is done in the open air, where Boris manages to capture the essence of the moment and its atmosphere. It’s amazing how somewhere in the strong broad strokes, and somewhere in the delicate, Boris tells stories, in which our Moscow days, together with all their imperfections, look so charming and captivatingly alive. The artist does not seek to disguise the elements of a modern metropolis, such as road signs, wires, or store signs. He is absolutely convinced that getting the viewer into the captured moment, you need to show them everything just the way it is, not hiding ugly details.
The moments are endless. Here on a cool autumn evening a lone pedestrian walks along the street with their head in the coat collar. Here the winter twilight interacts with the windows decorated with frost patterns and Christmas lights. Here is a shady lane with golden glare on the windows of houses and people slowly going about their business.
However, the life of Moscow isn’t the only thing that encourages Boris to collect his brushes, paints, and red sketchbook. He travels a lot as well, depicting simple scenes in different cities and countries around the world with the same casual ease of a brush and mood.
After all, ease and good humor — are just as necessary for Boris as his brushes, paints and red sketchbook.