Artist Statement

California Imagination Jillian.png

Assemblage artist and Vexillographer, Jillian Kogan, was raised in the “Old Line” state and migrated west to the “Golden State” in her early twenties. She quickly embraced the SoCal lifestyle and began designing her own California Republic Bear Flag from fabric swatches to decorate a large wall in her apartment. After her cottage industry flag artwork was featured in the Los Angeles Times article “It’s Still the Address of Glam”  by David A. Keeps and photographed by Ricardo DeAratanha, covering the lifestyles of the artists in residence of a historic West Hollywood complex; Kogan signed with Modern One Gallery to exhibit her banners.

Kogan's assemblages gained wider notice when LA Confidential magazine editor-at-large Rebecca Bloom started sizzling about the artist in her column. In-demand interior designer Betsy Burnham soon featured one of Kogan’s flags in a spread for House Beautiful magazine photographed by Roger Davies, leading to other designers to cull the flags to stage homes and share with their clients.

From Hollywood glamour (Why Not Reinvent Yourself) to the conservation of a natural world (California Recycle), Kogan takes us on a journey of the varying characteristics of our state, our culture, and most of all, ourselves.

In 2008-2009, Kogan's California Imagination was the subject of the California Arts Council statewide promotional campaign and she was honored for her work by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2008, to celebrate LA’s BEST 20th Anniversary, she conceived and art directed the 260-ft Do Time at LA’s Best mural, executed by renown street artist Marcus Suarez in downtown LA, which was unveiled on the construction wall at the new LAPD Metro Detention Center site in the Downtown Los Angeles Civic Center by Hon. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. And in 2010, the California Travel & Tourism Commission recruited Kogan to create an assemblage as a tribute to Governor Schwarzenegger.

Years on and many bear flag assemblages, civic art installations, and group and solo exhibitions later; Kogan’s creative impulse continues to forge and reconfigure state and national flags with a collective of unique and unsuspecting found objects blended into a robust mix media menu and sociopolitical messages.

Her artwork has been displayed at: Armory Center for the Arts Pasadena, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Saatchi Art, Los Angeles Art Association | Gallery 825, Bonhams, Pacific Design Center, MTV headquarters, Creative Artists Agency, Save the Children headquarters, The California State Capitol Building, Modern One Gallery, Jessica Thomas Gallery, Pharmaka, Ambrogi Castanier Gallery, Project One Gallery, and in The Bear Flag Museum. Socially and environmentally conscious, the artist regularly donates original pieces to a variety of local charities.