Devin Cogger is a Portland-based artist currently exploring a studio practice in painting influenced by modes of Biomorphic Abstraction with Surrealist tendencies.
He is currently working in Bryan Texas, as the 2019-2020 Bryan Artist-in-Residence, a program formed in partnership between BCS Modern and the Arts Council of Brazos Valley.
Painting, rough digital animation, some poetic wordplay, and a bit of found-object sculpture are the current mediums I'm exploring. As visual, verbal, and physical modes of expression, I use them to explore how imagination, interpretation, and improvisation can each play roles in the making and viewing of art. Through the lens of science fiction, a clump biomorphic ambiguity, and a pinch of whimsical humor, my work can be understood simply as the artificial cultivation and study of nonexistent organisms. By borrowing from the languages of microbiology, geology, botany, and physiology, I describe the form and function of biomorphism as if it were a specimen of fantastic science. At other times I'll borrow words from popular culture or culinary arts to frame my work as kind of rogue confectionery edible.
I think a lot of my work reads like a terrarium—densely populated with orbicular and curvilinear forms, appearing to throb with a kind of squelching effervescence, and squirming with restless oscillation and omnidirectional scuttling.
Working in layers allows me to generate granular crusts and pigment clusters that appear to mimic geological sediments, strata, striations, and other structural features found in rock formations and/ore mineral deposits. Similarly, an abundance of capsules and pellet-shaped forms simulate unicellular organisms and microbial bacteria, while bulbs, flaps, and husks harken to botanical growths and plant cell enclosures. I explore the capacity for color to provide context to the work in that the dominant chromatic hues are made to correspond with a specific habitat or ecosystem, for instance tinted phthalocyanine blues can connote an aquatic setting ranging from coral reefs to glacial biomes, earthly umbers can speak to soil samples, cavernous voids, and similar subterranean spaces, whereas burnt sienna scumbles can evoke sensations of the flesh and mammalian dermal tissue.