The Memorial, After the Storm (Laurie Hogan, ca. early 21st century, oil on canvas)

The Memorial, After the Storm (Laurie Hogin, ca. early 21st century, oil on canvas)

Laurie Hogin is a contemporary artist who paints acid-hued animals, fruit, and fungi posed together in a landscape of molten color.  Her work “The Memorial, After the Storm” presents a collection of unnatural flora and fauna which only exist in the artist’s imaginary realm. Silver snakes glide towards pseudo foxes, as parti-color fowl jostle with pied lizards.  The effulgent pears, berries, toadstools, and pumpkins flow out of an unreal pastoral landscape which literally morphs into perfect geometric shapes as it approaches the foreground.  Hogin’s paintings grab the viewer’s attention and refuse to let go, but the garish creatures and pale fruiting bodies pose an elusive quandary about humankind’s unnatural tastes. It almost appears that the grumpy birds and uppity mammalian predators are peeved that they don’t actually exist and never will. This is an ecosystem built to appeal to jaded primate senses—a fact which makes its unreal inhabitants fretful and sullen.