Leegan Koo ‘California Dreaming’ Los Angeles USA

February 1, 2018 by Laura Gomez


Leegan began drawing and painting at a young age by himself. He grew up moving from one metropolitan city to another—Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City; and cultural diversity and experience of dynamic urban life became the major source of his artistic inspiration, along with jazz, hiphop, and graffiti. In 2011, Leegan began to focus on painting cityscapes—a visual manifestation of memories and emotions attached to certain places—and experimented with various styles of realism and surrealism. In 2013, he moved to San Francisco to attend Academy of Art University where he received his first formal art education. In 2014, Leegan moved to Los Angeles and joined Leftbank Art, a corporation that specializes in producing and printing artworks for clients such asCrate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Z Gallery. He currently lives and works as a freelance artist and art instructor in Los Angeles.

Artist lnterview:

Name: Leegan Koo
Age: 30
Birthday: August 21st

College: One semester at the Academy of Art, San Francisco
Colours: black
Books: The Moon and Sixpence

Food: sushi sashimi fish and chips fish taco fish grill
Quote: We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

For how long have been in art? How did you start?
I began drawing at early age, around the age of six or seven, and got into graffiti in the teenage years. I began to make art on canvas in my early 20s and was introduced to surrealism art in 2013 when I accidentally came upon the Morpheus Group Show at Copro Gallery. It was a sort of turning point in my artistic career. The paintings I saw at the show left a big impression on me, and I started to incorporate surrealistic in my art work. In 2015, I had a chance to present my work at a few galleries and started my career as a surrealism painter.

How would you define yourself as an artist? I have two different styles of portfolio; one is of surrealism art whereas the other is contemporary. However, at the moment, I’d define myself more as a surrealism painter.

Would you tell us some things about yourself? Please include a few little known facts about you as well.
I am not a social person at all. I sometimes wish I were, but I am an introvert and hardly meet anyone at all. I was very passionate about hip hop culture since I was
young and began breakdancing in junior high.

Where do you find inspiration?
I grew up moving from one city to another, and the ethnic and cultural diversity I experienced and witnessed became an essential part of my identity and inspiration.

What are you trying to communicate with your art?
I think what’s more important than my message is what people feel when they see my art. I love to hear about their own interpretations and what kind of connection they draw between my art and their experiences of life.

What art do you most identify with? surrealism art Why do you do … what you do?
I have never thought of doing anything else.

What does “being creative” mean to you?
Being able to make something from ideas/thoughts existing in your head/mind.

Any shows, galleries, or publications where our readers can find your work?
I have mostly worked with galleries in West Coast. My latest exhibitions were at Bash Fine Art in Las Vegas and Copro Gallery in Santa Monica.

How do you cultivate a collector base? Gallery exhibitions and social media

Which is your most cherished piece? ‘California Dreaming’ (2015)

If you had an exclusive collective exhibition with other artists work, who would you choose?
American realism painters like Hopper and Bellows, if they were still alive. I admire their work so much.

What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually?
The fact that I haven’t received much ‘formal” art education is double-edged sword. While I had no one to guide me or teach me technical skills, precisely because of that, I was free of other people’s influences and could develop my original style.

What aspect of your work do you pay particular attention to? The quality of painting. Skills.

What role does the artist have in society? They make things that have value to some people.

What is your most treasured memory? Every moment I remember.

What for you is the most enjoyable part of your art? Going to an exhibition and watching people looking at my art.

What famous artists have influenced you, and how? Hopper, Bellows, Andrew Wyeth

What other interests do you have outside of art? Drinking, music.

Some short questions now:

more Colours: raw umber, phthalo blue

Textures: Liquid, brick. Metal.

Define your art: painting

Describe your style: Define yourself: Invisible

Prizes: OC Art Contest First place.

Art Fairs: LA ART SHOW

Museums: Railroad museums

Cities: NYC, Philly, Baltimore, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Fullerton

Travels: the northwest

Artists: In addition to the masters I mentioned above, Greg Craolat Simkins, Geoffrey Gersten, Esao Andrews, Adam Caldwell

Music: Jazz, Hip Hop

Cars: Kia Soul black

Drones: no

Mobile App: Instagram @leegan_art

You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today?
Whenever I travel, I try to stop by local galleries and museums. I was fortunate to visit the Seattle Art Museum when they were having Andrew Wyeth’ Retrospect.

How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? Hopeless

What do you think about the art community and market?
Although I am not very active in the art community, I am very thankful to have some great collectors and gallery directors who are encouraging and supportive.

Should art be funded? Why?
I don’t know, but it’d be great to have a little support, especially when you are a young artist, starting on your own.

Which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction?
The Copro gallery exhibition in 2017.

Who are the writer's you admire the most?
I don’t read much, but I loved reading William Somerset Maugham and Bernard Werber.

What about architects and designers? I don’t know anyone.

What else are you working on at the moment? Next projects?
I am preparing for the two-person show at Bash Fine Art in Las Vegas. www.bashfineart.com

Share something you would like the world to know about you?
Nothing much about me, but I hope more people will get to know my art.

Define ‘Klassik International’ and ‘Klassik Magazine International’ for the audience?
An international marketing communication platform where people from all walks of life, of all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, are gathered with their common interest in art, culture and where artists can share, exhibit and promote at international level their works with international art communities. ‘Klassik International’ Arts & Culture Agency as a leading international reference.

February: Bash Fine Art, Las Vegas, NV – Two person show
January: Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA – LA ART SHOW 2018

Semptember: Gristle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY – Cult of Meow
June: Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA – mini solo show
April: Gallery Clu, Los Angeles, CA – two person show
January: LA ART SHOW 2017 Gallery Clu, Los Angeles,CA
The Hive Gallery, Hive Tarot 8, Los Angeles,CA

December: Gallery Clu, Los Angeles, CA – Right Next to you
October: Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla, CA – 7 Year Anniversary Group Show
September: Bash Fine Art, Las Vegas, NV – Brimstone & Lace ( Two Person Show)
Gristle Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY – The Space Trip Art Show
KAABOO Del Mar Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla, CA – KAABOO Del Mar Artwork ( Live Painting)
Korean Cultural Center Osaka, Osaka, Japan – BIAA Exhibition
August: Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla, CA – Works of Wisdom
July: Distinction Gallery, Escondidio, CA – Art Hatch Artists Exhibition
Garage Gallery, Los Angeles, CA – 1 year Anniversary Show
The Hive Gallery, Los Angeles, CA – ( Featured Artist )
Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla, CA – Creative Blocks
June: Thumprint Gallery, La Jolla, CA – Stratrum ( 3 person show)
May: Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong 2016, Hong Kong
April: Garage Gallery, Los Angeles, CA – Opening Art Show
Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla, CA – Manufacturing Significance
The Hive Gallery, Los Angeles, CA – 11th Anniversay
March: The Hive Gallery, Los Angeles, CA – Time Machine
TPG2, San Diego, CA – Skullture
Kimchi Cosplay Gallery, San Diego, CA – Batman v superman art show!
February: Gallery Clu, Los Angeles,CA – Refraction of Life ( two person show )
Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla, CA – Small Wonders
January: LA ART SHOW 2016, Los Angeles Convention Center, CA

December: Cotton Candy Machine, Brooklyn, NY – Biennial Submissional,
Centre Culturel Coréen, Paris, France – From the City of Angels to the City of Love
November: Haven Gallery, Northport, NY – Little Big
Penumbra Art Boutique, Portugal – Memento Mori
October: Thumbprint Gallery, La Jolla, CA – MiSC
September:Night Gallery, Santa Ana, CA – A Little Darkness 2
Garage Gallery, Los Angeles, CA – Detatch
August: The Hive Gallery, Los Angeles, CA – Into the Wild
July: Thumbprint TPG3, San Diego, CA – Walls and Windmills
The Hive Gallery, Los Angeles, CA – Jedi July
June: QPOP Gallery, Los Angeles, CA – Mushroom Kingdom
April: Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles, CA – Illustration West 53,