“Painting Inside the Box” is an apt title for Jim Vogel’s new show, which opens on March 30 at Blue Rain Gallery.
Vintage suitcases and antique metal tool boxes are the frames for Vogel’s paintings, which reflect traditional life in rural New Mexico.
Boxes and suitcases often inspired the compositions inside them, says Vogel. In one toolbox is “Jammed Up,” an image of loggers pushing harvested logs into a river.
An old suitcase with travel stickers on it contains “Along the Mother Road,” a painting of a young family traveling along Route 66 in a depression era vehicle.
“This work speaks not only to travel along this historic route but also to traveling the road of motherhood,” Vogel says.
Vogel’s new body of work, which has been created during the past four months, features paintings on canvas that are mounted on wood and attached to the inside lids and bottoms of boxes.
“I’ve been collecting boxes with my wife Christen for years,” he explains. “We love going to antique and junk stores together. Christen worked with me on this project, repurposing the boxes so I could place my paintings inside them.”
While the framing of Vogel’s latest paintings is a new venture for the artist, the paintings themselves are part of his continuing series of works that explore New Mexican folklore, myths and traditions.
Vogel, who was born in Roswell, New Mexico to a family of storytellers, began drawing as a very young child and was honored and awarded for his artwork during high school.
Now a resident of northern New Mexico, Vogel is inspired by the environment, history and traditions around him and drawn to telling stories of the common man’s struggles.