Russ Vogt was born in Richmond, Minnesota. He received his Bachelor of Elective Studies degree from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago. His work has been shown throughout the United States and can be found in several corporate and public collections. Inspired by the woods surrounding his home, Vogt paints dense landscapes filled with trees but liberated with intense colors characteristic of stained glass. The artist’s use of color and composition are nontraditional, suggesting the early work of French painter Henri Matisse. Vogt’s flamboyant, loosely painted work is meant to celebrate the pleasures of the eye. He and his wife currently reside in Minnesota.
More recently, Vogt has made a name for himself with large-scale outdoor sculptures in totem form, which wonderfully complement his works on canvas as they are equally as colorful and bold: “Since living in a rural environment, I’ve had an interest in largescale outdoor ceramic sculpture. My perspectives on color, gesture, scale, essence and vitality have ultimately led me to build my pole sculptures. These forms are covered with handmade, brightly colored tile; they can take the shape of animals, figures, pillars, walls, reliefs, and birdbaths. The components are large-scale extruded, wheel-thrown, and hand built earthenware forms. The tube-like components are stacked spontaneously on an underlying steel pipe structure. These poles can be seen as individuals, configured as fences, clustered together, mounted on concrete walls, or on the sides of buildings. The technique of hollow form construction using steel, reinforced concrete and high-fired, vitrified ceramic makes them perfect for indoor or outdoor use.”