The new art buzz in our region is about a unique artist named Cory Koch who may just have placed himself on the cutting edge of the art world with his amazing imagery. This multi-faceted individual — a disc jockey, marriage therapist, film producer, and fireside philosopher has experienced life just long enough to weave a bit of wisdom and nostalgia into his creations in such a way that his audience quickly becomes captivated. His art is coming into its own and has placed Cory in a situation that every artist wants to be in – those that see his art, want his art!
So we might ask, “Who is this Snohomish County man and how did he develop this unusual talent?” Well, it turns out this Northwesterner is really a down-to-earth humble transplant from the Midwest – a warm engaging person who easily connects with others – who has spent years helping others get along.
Mr. Koch grew up in a Midwestern farm community where he developed a special affinity for the land, the wild and domestic animals that lived on the prairie, and the rugged pioneering spirit of the families who still make a living bringing forth the food that feeds our nation.
He was just 13 years old, when he befriended a kindly old gentleman who had a propensity for collecting antiques and various nostalgic items that reflected that area’s rich history. It is not by coincidence, then, that Cory came to love that riveting history himself – that connection to the past that ties the land and its inhabitants together.
Following this kindly old mentor’s lead, Cory became an ardent collector of interesting historical items that were tied to his rural heritage. In his quest for that ever elusive knowledge of days gone by, he became a curator of sorts of the wonderment that defines previous generations – a vanishing way of life that slowly erodes away with the meandering rivers of time. From searching for century-old bottles in abandoned wells, to collecting old photographic memorabilia, his passion for the curious and the forgotten always tugs at his soul.
Receiving his Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy, Cory found his niche in helping heal family relationships and made several decades of that mission his primary career focus. Cory maintains that “constructive and straightforward communication” is the cornerstone of a thriving healthy relationship. It only makes sense then, that his photographic imagery has become an artistic communication device that evokes straightforward emotion and constructive discussion.
His propensity for photographic artistry is bit of a “late blooming” phenomena. As a child he received a camera as a gift, but money in those childhood years was tight and so there were only sparse funds for film or developing. So his instamatic camera was laid to rest, and he did not resurrect his eye for the viewfinder until some three decades later.
Photography and video became a hobby of sorts, and he always invested considerable effort and time in the creation of his yearly Christmas Card. These yearly Yule Tide greetings from the Kochs have become nothing less than an event for those lucky individuals who find themselves on his mailing list. His greeting cards include amazing and sometimes quirky themes, whimsical imagery, and dry wit — entertaining in every sense of the word. It was only logical, then that this initial passion for artistic creation bloomed into an ever-expanding love of photography and video production.
As time progressed, so did the quality of his images. He shot thousands of photos and perfected both his technique and his subject matter. At around the same time the Everett Herald published several of his images to be featured in their holiday greeting card contest. This seemed to be the catalyst in which his artistic side exploded into an exciting new level creativity. Now his fine art is a major focus of his day.
Amazingly, it was only last year that he started placing his images on canvas for public consumption. Initially, he could never have guessed how widely and quickly his imagery would be embraced by the public. Perhaps the reason for this rapid love affair is that his images are so unique. They just are something you don’t see every day. As one business owner put it, “I love watching our customers do the double-take glance as they walk by.”
Cory started experimenting with his image creation, and eventually was bringing his photographs to a new level of artistic nuance. He always admired the fluid art of Salvador Dali as well as other surrealists. In fact, some of Cory’s imagery contains that amorphous surrealistic quality. Some of his of is art has a definite impressionist feel. Still other pieces are a combination of those qualities — windows into the surreal world of saturated color with dream-like twists on reality – all of them ready to pull the viewer inward for more.
Nothing about his subject matter, his techniques, or his display mediums is run of the mill. Most critics would agree that this is an enduring art form that will pass the test of time. Yet, Cory’s art is so very approachable. And he’s not afraid to display more traditional imagery as well.
Cory’s photographs often stem from his love of the places and objects of the past, as well as the natural world he so values. In fact, sometimes his photographs elevate the past by reawakening processes of a time gone buy. Some of the first consumer grade photographs created a century and a half ago were the tin-types, gold-types, and the daguerreotypes. These were made from processes that placed the photographic image on a metallic emulsion — mirror-coated on a surface like glass or tin. Lacking the flatness of an image on paper, these metallic photographs contained a reflective quality that was very enticing.
Reminiscent of that era, Cory has placed some of his own images on similar metallic surfaces and the effect is nothing less than transformational. It is hard not to become entranced by this sophisticated but approachable art form.
In fact businesses (from law firms to massage therapists) are displaying his unique photographs for their publicly-viewed walls. As one businesswoman put it, “These are the best and most captivating conversations pieces we’ve ever put up. Our clients love Cory’s Photographs because they really have a big wow factor. They always invoke a conversation.”
That wow factor is not a super-hyped scenario but rather an honest appreciation and excitement for artistic imagery that has a style uniquely its own. Once you see a Cory Koch image on canvas or on one of his chosen metallic mediums, you’ll most likely agree.
Those who have seen his art mounted on a wall might agree that an internet website simply does not do his imagery justice.
Still, it does give us a sneak preview of the real thing – but gazing at his creations in large real-life format is nothing less than an unforgettable experience.
Everett Source is pleased that Mr. Koch calls the Pacific Northwest home. He is just one more example of the top notch creativity found in our region.
If you’d like the chance to see more of this one-of-a-kind artwork, you can visit Cory’s website at www.corykoch.com