Michael Bogin didn’t travel to the Galapagos Islands seeking inspiration. The Hobart and William Smith Colleges professor was teaching as part of study abroad programs in Peru and Ecaudor.
“It was a course, which talked about the relationship of the environment to cultural production, to artistic production. We used the Galapagos, or in fact evolution, as a model to think about the way in which cultures adapt and survive or fail to survive.”
The Galapagos draws visitors for its beauty and wide diversity of plants and animals. Bogin describes it as primeval and elemental. And, in the waters surrounding the islands, he found a connection to his youth.
“I grew up on a barrier island on Long Island. I spent most of my youth up until when I left when I was about 18 on the water. So, I have a long history of being around the ocean and being around water.”
It was a still some time after his visit before the Galapagos Islands began to inform Bogin’s painting. Through time and reflection, the experience and the experience of his youth came together in the studio.
“Roberta Smith, the art critic for The Times has said that the most interesting art is art that comes out of emotional necessity and so this is art that also seems to come out of an emotional necessity.”
Galapagos opens in Davis Gallery at Houghton House on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus with a reception and a gallery talk at 6:30 It continues through December 2nd.