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Michael Kagan

Outtakes - Shot For Avant Arte

Story by Wesley Verhoeve May 19th, 2017

Michael Kagan for Avant Arte

Avant Arte is a young team of talented Dutchies making moves in the art world. They have built a beautiful digital platform where they explore "new ways to open the doors to art collecting". They combine great experiences online and offline by curating a beautiful Instagram account, organizing art shows, and selling physical art through their new store.

One of the talents whose work Avant Arte champions is paint and media artist Michael Kagan. I visited Michael's studio in Brooklyn a few weeks ago to take pictures for his Avant Arte page.

To see the photos that made it, as well as the beautiful print Michael and Avant Arte are selling, go here. I wrote about the experience below and included a few outtakes that didn't make the final piece.

“There is a nice glow around 4.30PM. My windows face west. Want to meet at 4?”

It’s 4pm as Michael Kagan opens the door to his Williamsburg studio. The light is as promised, shining into a room minimalist in both decor and color. Michael has been working on his "Higher Places" piece for most of the day and it is coming together beautifully. Already striking in it’s set up, the piece is sketched through loose magenta strokes after a classic NASA photo. Piece by piece sections are taped off and filled in with blues and whites. Once completed, traces of magenta will end up peeking through here and there. Unplanned but appreciated.


Michael’s style of painting allows for various perspectives. Stand nearby and identify small abstract short stories, beautifully singular as their own little world. Step away, and abstract becomes figurative and representational. Each section takes a rightful place in the whole to form an iconic moment captured. Geometric strokes and texture, intermittently building and breaking apart.


There’s that nice glow.

As Michael works, the light outside changes patterns and direction. The sound of blue painter’s tape coming off the role offers a short percussive pattern before each of the moments Michael decides to focus on a small abstract. Inside of an empty white building, Michael generates these images of seclusion, focus and courage. The astronaut looks back at the viewer as if to ask a question. A question that might differ for each person staring back, conjured in our individual imagination. A question that might change as the viewer steps back or moves closer. While Michael works away the white room is starting to turn ever so slightly orange as the golden hour introduces itself in a whisper. There’s that nice glow.


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Footnote: Thanks to team Avant Arte and Michael Kagan.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, United States