Kirsten Hagen's illustrative paintings recall and reveal familiar moments and landscapes through their depictions of coastal California. While firmly rooted in regionalism and including some iconic aspects of the San Francisco bay, Hagen's stylistic choices suggest more universal and idyllic places. Part of this is Hagen's muted palette, which, when combined with the haziness of her composition and textures, suggests old photographs and older memories. Furthermore, the honesty of her style looks towards a sophisticated take on storybook illustrations, as well as the familiarity of mid-century American art movements.
Hagen works from her own photographs, building off these to create what she calls a “living memory.” Although fortunate enough to work with naturally beautiful source material, Hagen's treatments in acrylic and her selective use of more vibrant colors aids in the creation of a narrative in each painting. In particular, Hagen uses physical distance to ground her work, with far landscapes shrouded in opacity, but still extant. In this regard, there's a sense of scope and continuity, with the depiction in each scene hinting at both return and renewal.
Born in Oakland, Hagen currently lives and works from Tiburon, California.