Brooklyn-based artist Michael Kagan’s work is full of contradictions. His oil paintings highlight the tension between the snapshot-like quality of frozen instants of explosive motion—such as a rocket launch—and the slow process of painting. There is also an element of the unexpected in the close examination of his works; as a viewer approaches what appears to be a representational painting, the surface dissolves into an abstract composition of aggressive brushstrokes. Kagan believes a painting is perfect “when it can fall apart or it can come back together depending on how you read the image and also how close you are.”

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