Logan Maxwell Hagege is a Los Angeles based contemporary artist with modern visions of the west. The paintings of Hagege exhibit all the hallmarks of his classical art training from an academy in Southern California, a modern-day atelier, in which students refined their skills by drawing and painting live models every day for years.
Yet, it is in the artist’s departures from strict realism where his work now draws its strength and where his vision is fed by a heady mix of nature and imagination. A power born of observation, recollection and creative inspiration imbue Hagege images of the American Southwest. He is arguably one of the most adept artistic narrators telling and re-telling a modern story of a hauntingly beautiful desert land.
Hagege’s mature style, which he terms “stylized realism,” has made him a master of geometric design where angles and edges are softened by the curve of billowing clouds. His signature clouds often mimic the shapes of the blanketed figures in the foreground, creating visual roadmaps for the viewers, further adding to the design, and narrative of each composition.
What is seen in Hagege’s paintings are the elements of a region and its inhabitants that may go all but unnoticed by the casual observer. His mastery of light is faithful to colors and shapes that exist in nature but whose forms and hues have been stripped to their essence to reveal and to celebrate their complexity. The artist is directed by an inner voice that speaks of a kind of artistic alchemy in which the purity and perfection of nature can be referenced – in paint – for an eternity. There is no mistaking an Hagege image, just as there is no equivalent for the emotion it can evoke.
“It’s my vision of the world; that’s where it starts and that’s where it ends,” he says.
An inventive yet disciplined artist, Hagege is an accomplished musician, former competitive surfer, a husband and a father. Today, Hagege travels extensively to cultivate inspiration and to deepen his relationship with his subjects and with the culture of the land. He produces field studies on location near a home in remote northern Arizona where the landscape – in the form of red cliffs, towering clouds and cerulean sky – is among his guides. Those works inform the pieces he later creates in his studio in Ojai, California.
In a mark of the artist’s mounting critical and commercial success, Hagege’s works are part of the permanent collections of such ranking institutions as the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California; the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia; the Cal Poly Pomona University Collection in Pomona, California; the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg, Florida; the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the Scottsdale Museum of the West in Arizona, among others.