Collectors Love: Claudia Kogachi
Collectors voted with their wallets at these sell-out shows.
Words: Lucy Jackson
Auckland-based Claudia Kogachi has been popular amongst private and public collectors over the last year, exhibiting with multiple galleries. Kogachi’s playful and bright work often depicts herself and those close to her – in both true and imagined personas – and explores recreational activities, banal bodily functions, and moments of realistic fiction.
Blue Moon, an exhibition of spooky paintings with collaborative frames, had an almost-sell out exhibition at Melanie Roger Gallery in August 2022. Ranging from small (22 x 22cm) to near life-size (138 x 193 cm), Blue Moon was inspired by Kogachi’s time at the Karekare House Artist Residency in Winter.
“The Karekare coast is incredibly dramatic and powerful,” she says, “and it’s also mythical and fantastical. I was kept busy painting spooky ghost trees and cutesy evil smiling suns.” Kogachi’s partner, Josephine Jelicich accompanied her on the residency and hand carved wooden frames to mimic the waves of the coastline for Blue Moon.
In April, Kogachi exhibited Heaven must be missing an angel at Jhana Millers Gallery, Wellington. The series included Kogachi and Jelicich depicted as recognisable duos, including Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz from the film Charlie’s Angels (the soundtrack of which inspired the show’s title). “The exhibition was an ode to the beginning of our relationship, an introduction to my practice, and cemented my recent coming-out to my family,” says Kogachi. The filmic duo paintings were a hit with collectors, with all but one painting from the exhibition selling.
When asked what a successful exhibition looks like, Kogachi answers simply: “My mum is a tough critic of my work, so when she enjoys my art and exhibitions as a whole that’s a good indicator to me that it is successful.”
Beyond painting, Kogachi also makes tuft rug artworks which is a labourious process. Varying between mediums allows Kogachi to rest and rejuvenate without getting bored of one medium. A selection of her large rugs and paintings will be exhibited at the 2023 Aotearoa Art Fair with Jhana Millers Gallery in the artist’s first solo show at the fair.
Featured image above: Claudia Kogachi, The one with the mosquitoes (diptych), 2021. Acrylic on canvas, framed, 80 x 160cm.
This article was originally published in Art Collector issue 103, January-March 2023.