HL Arts: Ella Kogan, Clay Sculptress, Unveils Commanding, Extraordinary Collection

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Known for her visionary sculptures, Ella Kogan is an artist whose creativity and deftness come from something more than inspiration. As she herself attests, her ability to create this works of art comes from something of a higher power.

With Ella's work, the audience plays a particularly essential role.  To Ella, a successful sculpture is one that can strike up a dialogue, and in fullness of time, render feelings of love, sadness and anger. Aware of societal veils, Ella's goal is to break through and make people genuinely feel.

Ella first began creating art as a pianist and vocalist in Russia under her father, notable Russian artist, Leonid Kogan. However, it was not until she had moved to the United States and established a life for herself, that she discovered her calling for sculpture. Her son had taken an art class and needed some help with his school project. Ella had never worked with clay this way before.

"I took the piece of clay, just to feel it and magic happened," said Ella.

From that point on, producing works of art became a natural experience. Because of the complexity of the subjects and her unique source of inspiration, Ella's pieces took on both the role of student and teacher, embracing subtle aspects of society mixed with creativity. Even after production, Ella takes the time to really understand what she has created.

Kogan believes that her pieces come from her own experiences and overall, the struggles of living in a society where honesty is a rarity. She does however, emphasize that she is not the one creating the work, but rather a higher power using her as a vessel to create great art.

Whether it's Kogan creating these pieces, or a something greater, these sculptures are powerful works that are made to influence and reveal truths. She believes that with each piece, a human soul is born.

 "When I created Man in a Straight Jacket, he created such an emotional response from viewers that he literally struck up conversation with the audience; almost like a confidant. At some point, even a friend of mine was arguing with him," Kogan explains.

According to Kogan, a piece is not done until she can look at the sculpture and see a person looking back and communicating with her. She wants their personality to jump through the sculpture and she wants her audience to feel what her pieces are feeling.

This not only creates a connection, but also allows viewers to develop their own relationship with the art. Kogan feels that there must be a balance when creating her pieces, she needs to fully express her thoughts, yet simultaneously limit herself as well to make sure the piece is truly becoming its own. As a professional artist, authenticity remains supreme. Her raw sculptures are works of sincerity that express beliefs and natural order.

"Sculpting for me is like falling in love, it's a partnership. You don't always understand them but you have to learn how to love. It's not about you anymore, it's about the other," said Kogan.

She is tender with each piece she makes. She needs to touch the clay like she is touching a child she loves.

 "When the piece is done, is like seeing a child become an independent adult. And like any good parent you let them be on their own, worrying if they will make it. Than work on another piece begins, a new love. It's like life," said Kogan.

As someone who views political correctness as merely a restraint, the focused subject matter of her work is rarely filtered. She continues to create these pieces regardless of what people think. Her ultimate goal is to express the feelings of the sculptures, and because she believes in a line between her life as an artist and as an individual, she gives these sculptures more credit than she does herself.

"When it's over, you're so tired. You have to come back to the real people. It's a long walk back, it's exhausting. It's a journey," said Kogan.

To find out more about Ella Kogan and her art, visit http://www.koganart.com/

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