Laguna Beach artist to exhibit at Brandstater

March 11, 2011
By Darla Martin Tucker

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – ( Jeff Koegel’s contemporary, bold paintings and drawings bring viewers into dream-like worlds of bright color, shades of black and brown, patterns and evolving images that evoke feelings and thoughts as varied as the subject matter.

The award-winning artist says he draws from a diversity of aesthetic models including Byzantine icon painting, aboriginal art, American folk, tattoos, modernism, and ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging.

Beginning March 14, the Laguna Beach artist, who is represented by the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles, will exhibit his talent in La Sierra University’s Brandstater Gallery. Koegel will present a solo exhibition titled “Sparkle and Decay” at Brandstater through April 17, with an opening reception March 14, 6 – 8 p.m. A limited edition, 16" x 22" poster, numbered and signed, will be available for purchase during the opening event. Gallery admission is free.

Koegel organized the exhibit of 18, mostly large-scale paintings and drawings from 240 works he created between 2001 and 2010. “It’s a very carefully edited, select group,” he said. Most of the pieces are upwards of five-by-six feet. The smallest work is 12-inches-by-12-inches.

“The title "Sparkle and Decay" is meant to evoke a number of dualities--light and darkness, life and death, building and destroying, confidence and uncertainty. These are intentionally open-ended ideas that involve everyone in ways that are both universal and individually unique,” Koegel said. “The compositions are often a mix of abstract and identifiable imagery, creating a picture that represents a hybrid world, a changing world. Sometimes the subject matter is identifiable but is in a state of transformation and its identity is questionable.”

Koegel hopes viewers will derive their own meanings and interpretations from his work rather than striving to figure out what he meant in making the piece. “I'd like them to start by taking in the formal qualities of the work, noting the feeling of the color, the path that the eyes follow through the image, the points that the eyes keep returning to, and trusting that an interpretation will emerge through the act of looking,” he said.

Brandstater Gallery hours are Mon. – Thurs., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun., 2 – 5 p.m. For further information call 951-785-2170. La Sierra University is at 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside. Click here for a campus map:

For twenty years Koegel has worked as a painter, art director, graphic designer and illustrator. He has received awards from Graphis, Communication Arts, Print and the Society of Illustrators, among others.

He has exhibited his work solo and in groups, in numerous venues including the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, the Laguna Art Museum and the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Berlin. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts at California State University, Fullerton.

The public collections of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation and of the international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles also carry his work.


PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University
Riverside, California
951.785.2460 (voice)


  • Last update on  March 11, 2011