The principles that govern my aesthetic are balance and restraint.
My early years in India were flooded with noise, color, and fragrance. My grandparents' home in Bombay was somewhat buffered from the outside chaos of people and cars by lush gardens. This paradise of quietly growing coconut trees, exotic lilies, and always newly turned wet red earth was invaded hourly by squalling parrots and barbarous crows. Their cries filtered through the foliage as though they were the softened echoes of the havoc on the streets.
Going anywhere in Bombay requires infinite patience and time. A simple errand to get a plastic bucket devolves into an all-day affair involving epic traffic jams and monsoon-huge waves crashing over the seawall. But, even as a very small child-I was easily distracted by the lurid Bollywood billboards rushing past the car window and promises of notebooks with endpapers of fuchsia block-printed flowers and new erasers in the shape of rabbits or fried eggs.
Bombay is steeped in perfume - from yards of jasmine and roses garlanding doors, to sandalwood burning at the fire temple, to a hundred different lunches cooking at the same time - there is always fragrance in the air. It might be ordinary, like freshly watered concrete walls or the starched muslin saris of nursery school teachers; or extraordinary, like the scent of raw silk stored in the recesses of a teak wardrobe. Its presence everywhere instilled the conviction in me that just as fragrance occupies a stratum deeper than sight or sound, majesty is also hidden beneath the surface of things, and majesty is an anchor that restrains and balances the chaos of experience. It is the primordial root that underlies even the most discordant things.
The general pandemonium of Bombay in the early 1970s serves as a visual alphabet. Through my travels and migrations, this alphabet continues to recombine, developing into a painterly language. In any form of communication, I have found the principles of restraint and balance to be the most formidable and eloquent.
Kuzana was born in Bombay in 1971. Her parents brought her home from the hospital on the back of their motorcycle, and she was a newborn mango nesting in her mother's arms. On that ride, Kuzana first saw how the hurtling landscapes were marked by lines where fruit and glass, fabric and edifice meet. She strewed the highway behind them with vibrant origami as she dreamed.
The first years of her life were divided between the ancestral home of her grandfather, surrounded by lush gardens and groves of coconut trees, and her grandmother's exquisite Worli sea face residence. Kuzana's earliest memories are of temperate weather, fragrant jasmine blossoms, and cascading layers of color.
In time, Kuzana and her infant sister joined their newly immigrated parents in England. The setting changed from streets crammed with disorderly traffic and cows to cars neatly parked in rows, but Kuzana preferred the crumbling palatial structures that still lived in her mind to these frilly curtains and tidy brick homes. The new plastic toys at her feet became the rude complement of those of tin and copper that lay beside them.
Her tiffin tucked in her luggage, Kuzana shuttled in train cars to boarding schools in Cornwall, Surrey, and Kodaikanal. At the age of 10, she and her family relocated to New York, and the American metropolis took shape in those eyes where the Deccan plateau once stood.
It was as an art student at SUNY Purchase that Kuzana met her husband and began the work in love and paint of revisiting the garden of her childhood. They married after their graduation in 1995, and moved to South Korea, spending the next six years teaching English in historic Kyung Ju. Returning to the United States in 2001, they lived first in New Mexico, and then settled in California's Central Valley in 2012.
Kuzana has participated in two residencies: in Red Wing, Minnesota, and in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her paintings have been included on the sets of both television shows and feature films-the most recent of which were Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Southpaw and My All-American. Kuzana's first solo museum exhibition was Oil at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in 2014. A second solo followed shortly thereafter, Rev Zero at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in 2015. Kuzana's work has been exhibited, published, and collected both privately and publically, nationally and internationally.
Solo and Two Person Exhibitions
2015 Rev Zero, Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA
2015 Dress:Up Kuzana Ogg and Lynette Cook, Gallerie Citi, Burlingame, CA
2015 California Crude, Boxheart Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
2014 Oil, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo, CA
2014 Kuzana Ogg-Digital Exhibition, C-Space, Beijing, China
2013 Urbane, BoxHeart Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
2013 Open Pollination, Brink Gallery, Missoula, MT
2013 Kuzana Ogg, Tercera Gallery, World Wide Web
2012 Pattern Language, GVG Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
2012 Kuzana Ogg, Tercera Gallery, World Wide Web
2011 Future Perfect, Kuzana Ogg and Clara Fialho, Tria Gallery, New York, NY
2011 Super City, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM
2010 Kuzana Ogg and Angie Renfro, Artizen Fine Art, Dallas, TX
2010 Worli, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM
2010 Pochkhanawala Road, Gallery Gray, World Wide Web
2008 Honey, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM
2007 Mango Season, The Gallery at Mesa Public Library, Los Alamos, NM
1994 Elysian Fields, Triangle Gallery, SUNY Purchase, NY
Selected Group Exhibitions
2015 35th Anniversary Exhibition, Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX
2015 The Unspoken, Boxheart Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
2015 Telephone, Satellite Collective, Seattle, WA
2014 The Way and the Wayfarer, Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA
2013 Lost But Not Forgotten, Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA
2013 Exchange, Postcard Collective, Tuscon, AZ
2013 Sex Sells, Jackson Junge Gallery, Chicago, IL
2013 Summer Salon, Fresh Paint, Culver City, CA
2012 The 2012 Rawls National, Rawls Museum Arts, Courtland, VA
2012 Papergirl Zagreb, BIC Information Center, Zagreb, Croatia
2012 Tilting at Windmills, Porter Butts Gallery University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
2012 The 27th Annual Tallahassee International, Museum of Fine Arts FSU, Tallahassee, FL
2012 Spring Fling, Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY
2012 LaGrange National XXVII Biennial, LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange, GA
2012 Odes and Offerings, Santa Fe Arts Commission Community Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2012 Odes and Offerings, Deconstructed, GVG Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
2012 Art Inter/National, Box Heart Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
2012 Red, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM
2011 Erasing Borders 2011, Indo-American Arts Council, New York, NY
2011 The Moment of Privacy Has Passed, Usher Gallery, Lincoln, United Kingdom
2011 Fireflies, Theertha Red Dot Gallery, Pitta Kotte, Sri Lanka
2010 Private Eyes, Artists' Vision, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA
2010 Art in Embassies, United States Embassy, Belmopan, Belize
2010 The Garden, United States Embassy, Riga, Latvia
2009 Paint!, Climate Gallery, Long Island City, NY
2009 4th National Juried Exhibition, Axis Gallery, Sacramento, CA
2009 SAsia, Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts, Long Branch, NJ
2009 Lush: Abstract Paintings, Matrix Fine Art, Albuquerque, NM
2009 The Sketchbook Project, Museum of Design, Atlanta, GA
2008 Erasing Borders 2008, Indo-American Arts Council, New York, NY
2008 Festival of Pacific Artists, Santa Monica Art Studios, Santa Monica, CA
2008 Pacific Festival of the Book, Victoria Arts Connection, Victoria, Canada
2007 New Mexico Women in the Arts, Harwood Museum, Taos, NM
2007 International Artists 2007, Theertha Gallery, Pitakotte, Sri Lanka
Special Projects and Selected Collections
2015 The Catch, ABC Studios, Television
2014 Southpaw, Hope Films, Film
2014 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, MEDG Films, Film
2014 My All American, Anthem Productions, Film
2014 Kaiser Permanante Hospital, Oakland, CA
2014 Crate & Barrel
2013 The Blue Man Group, Briar Street Theatre Outdoor Gallery, Chicago, IL
2013 Permanent Collection of Art in Embassies, State Department, Arlington, VA
2013 Those Who Kill, Pacific Entertainment Group, Television
2013 Brigham & Women's Hospital, Foxboro, MA
2012 Permanent Collection of the Yuko Nii Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
2011 Tampa Bay Grand Hyatt, Tampa, FL
2010-2012 United States Embassy, Riga, Latvia
2010-2013 United States Embassy, Belmopan, Belize