Ken Goshen

Let There Be, 2016, oil on panel, 8″x6″.

In His Own Image, 2016, oil on panel, 8″x6″.

By the Sweat of Your Brow, 2016, oil on panel, 8″x6″.

Relativity, 2017, oil on panel, 17.5″x20″.

So That We’ll Be, 2015, oil on paper, 14″x10″.

Ken Goshen (חן גושן), is a NYC-Based (Israeli-born) artist, working to integrate traditional painting and contemporary art practices. His preferred media are oil paint, pastel, charcoal, graphite, and printmaking techniques.  

Goshen’s work is an exploration of the role of representational art objects in an era of digital image ecstasy. It touches on the dissonance between the fragility of memory and the severity of documentation, highlighting the role subjectivity plays in shaping perceptions of the “real.” By focusing on the abstract qualities of the visual field and their sensory impact, he seeks to compose pieces embodying both the weight of nostalgia and an exhilaration of the unexplored. 

Encounters with Bread: This body of work is a result of my search for ways of bringing traditional painting into contemporary art – combining rigorous observation and illusionistic rendering with the possibilities of open-ended reads. My objective was to choose an object that carries a heavy burden of pre-conceived meanings and present it in ways that open up the possibility for new meanings to arise. I chose to work with challah bread because it carries substantial historical, socio-political, and religious baggage, and yet I believed it could evoke completely new visions.

The four smaller paintings are titled the “Genesis” series. They are an exploration of the possibilities of composing visions of challah in ways that obstruct the interpretation of the subject while still constructing it as illusionistic form, in an attempt to detach the form from its former meanings and suggest new ones. Bread has a unique and contradictory form: it appears both natural and artificially designed. In seeking to amplify this idiosyncrasy I drew inspiration from the stories of Genesis, where the natural and the designed are not mutually exclusive, but rather they are one and the same.

In the larger painting, “Relativity,” I felt my relationship with challah bread has matured, and as a result I had enough trust in my subjects to allow them to take on new meanings without obstructing or hiding their true identity. The painting is about the invisible forces of attraction existing in the gaps between entities and their impact on every scale of existence: from relationships between humans and organisms to the dances of cosmic bodies.