Artist Biography

Robert Hagan


Robert Hagan was born in Murwillumbah, NSW Australia. He graduated from University with an Arts degree in Economics and a Diploma in Education. His first exhibition was at the Woollahra Galleries in 1974, which Hagan claims was "largely unsuccessful, but nevertheless encouraging." He spent much of his twenties wandering and painting, teaching intermittently, and eventually teaching himself how to paint. After three years of this painstaking self-teaching and over-thinking, Hagan claims he had a breakthrough on the beach: the simplicity of nature led him to the revelation that he needed but a few colors to capture its brilliance. His painting career thus began at the beach, where he painted every variety of seaside life for two years.From 1980 to 1988, Hagan held numerous successful exhibitions in Australia. Hagan moved to San Diego in 1991 to paint the America’s Cup battle and published his second book of Australian paintings. Cherished Moments, his book of paintings and prose celebrating women and children, was published and in 1998 Hagan returned to Australia in 1998 with his children.

Steve Kaufman


Steve Kaufman was born in 1960 in the Bronx, New York, the middle child, surrounded by an extended family, many of whom were painters and sculptors that were a significant influence on him and his views on art. His father died when he was four years old. His mother painted high fashion oils on canvas, and he was taught sculpting by his uncles. Kaufman commented on his family, "They taught me that to be an artist is to be always changing. So I tried all different forms of art and today I have 15 different styles that I work in. Art should always be about changing. A lot of artists will work in one medium their whole career, but I didn't want to every get bored. I was taught that canvas was not the only thing to paint on." Kaufman had his first show at age eight, at a Jewish Temple in the Bronx. At the age of 8, he was sponsored by a synagogue and held his first one-man art show at a Bronx bank, presenting images that were later donated to the Jewish Holocaust Memorial in Brooklyn, New York. In 1975, Kaufman participated in a group graffiti art show at the prestigious Whitney Museum of American Art. The young Kaufman, having been tutored by an architect friend, projected his grandfather's images of the holocaust on rounds of wood cut from trees, the tree rings symbolizing the passing of years. He practiced, he worked, he became very excited about the times in which he lived. By the age of 12, he was working at Macy's Department Store on 34th Street in Manhattan, painting customized faces on pet rocks purchased by customers. At 14, Kaufman participated with nine other New York City students in a cultural art exchange with students in Japan, resulting in his attaining a scholarship to the Parsons School of Design. Since his death, Steve Kaufman’s artwork has appeared in several television programs, art tourism hotels, and a number of international exhibitions.

Nikolai Blokhin

This is a picture of Nikolai Blokhin.


Nikolai Blokhin’s bright, sound colors complement each other exquisitely; colorful medley seems to be spontaneous yet strictly structured, and each paintbrush catches your eye, making a stunning impression. Blokhin demonstrates unobtrusively his solid academic drawing skills – pleasant rarity in our days. Images of his portraits, landscapes, single and multi-figure genre compositions have a magical quality.

Nikolai Blokhin was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1968. His education in art began early at the age of 12, at the Art School for Gifted Children. Three years after graduating from the prestigious St. Petersburg Academy of Arts and finishing his post graduate practical training, Blokhin began his own teaching career. Today, Nikolai Blokhin is a Professor of Drawing at the Academy.

Blokhin’s first serious success was in portrait painting. Portrait is a genre where an artist depends on a model the most, where room for experiment is limited – otherwise the portrait is no longer a portrait.  His portraits are obviously influenced by Impressionists in their aspiration for casual condition and fleeting mood of a model that produce an effect of naturalness and freshness of their first impression. “I try to penetrate the person and capture his or her soul on canvas,” explains Blokhin. “The eyes and how they look are the most important part of the portrait which is evident in observing any of Blockhin’s portrait paintings or drawings, reminiscent of Rembrandt to some art collectors. 

Blokhin’s paintings are part of many museum and private collections, his works are well recognized by general public and specialists in Russia and far beyond as works of exceptional beauty. Among his many honors are the Grand Prize Award in the 2002 International Portrait Competition of the American Society of Portrait Artists at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Best of Show in the 2004 International Portrait Competition of the Portrait Society of America.

Graeme Hagan


Graeme Hagan, son of acclaimed artist Robert Hagan, also represented at Agora Galleries, is an Australian artist who paints in the Impressionist style. Taking inspiration from The West, nature, and the female figure, Hagan paints with sincerity and focus. He continues on the legacy of his father through painting in the Impressionist style, although Hagan's unique perspective shines through. Hagan's color palette can take on a moodier, darker tone than his father's.

Artist Biography

Victoria Kovalenchicova


Victoria Kovalenchikova was born in Mogilev, Belarus, but currently lives and works out of Amsterdam. She studied at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts, honing her skills, and was a professor teaching painting and drawing at Belarusian State Pedagogic University, beginning in 2002. In 2011 Kovalenchikova won an award from The Ministry of Culture of The Republic of Belarus for Enriching and Promoting Arts and Culture. Kovalenchikova has also been awarded the prestigious Gold Medal of Honor ‘LORENZO Il MAGNIFICO’, at the VIII International Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2011.

Renee Tay


Renée Tay is an extra-ordinarily talented artist from Southern California, to whom the inner visions are a gift from INVISIBLE and from that mystery dawns the inspirations of her creative expression, her paintings. She is a painter of Mystical Pointillist-Visionary and Fantastic Realism. Only at the age of 17, her painting was to be found in the San Diego Museum of Art.

Her father worked for Scripps Institute of Oceanography and ocean has always been an important part of her being. 9th grand-daughter of Mayflower's Miles Standish, Renée grew up like a mermaid in the Pacific Ocean eating abalone and lobster and many of her painting is clear reminiscence of her fantasy and creative imagination about fairy or mermaid like mysterious luminous feminine beings. Sometime they appear in Renée's canvas as Sea Princess, sometime as Butterfly Fairy Princess or Little Wood Fairy.

Renée Tay's stylistic use of vibrant spots and dots, mixed with her deep tap roots in folk art traditions, influenced primarily by the folk arts of Russia, Europe and Mexico. She is also impassioned by the intricacy of Persian and East Indian miniatures. Deliberately abandoning structured rules, her paintings speak most wittily from a surprising place - the invisible. This hidden energy burst forth in every painting of her.

Born in California in 1960 and trained both as a fine and commercial artist, Renée entertained various careers such as dresser-wardrobe for the opera and traveling Broadway shows, art studio manager, manager for Disney, manager-Buyer in the Symphony, farm store, fish hatchery and costumed for Mattel. In California, she has been exhibited in San Diego, Laguna and Newport Beach. Also in Las Vegas, Nevada and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A seeker in the path of Sufi Movement, founded by Hazrat Inayat Khan, Renée Tay currently lives in San Diego, California USA

Jeff Vermeeren



Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada a place known for its entrepreneurial spirt, Jeff Vermeeren has always believed in the value of ingenuity, fearlessness, and unyielding optimism. These values have served as a guiding influence in Jeff's life and have driven him to always reach higher, dig deeper, and push the limits of possibility.

From a very young age Jeff has found inspiration through exploration and discovery, always manipulating and repurposing everyday items. As the owner/operator of a very successful demolition and excavation company Jeff has yearned to return to his creative nature. Jeff's passion for creating and his almost rebellious disregard for the ordinary led him to his passion, Extreme Abstract.

This unique form of art is a perfect medium through which Jeff is able to share his electric personality and explosive ideas. Using a combination of fire, ice, pressure and a wide range of unstable chemicals, he applies vivid color to infuse in each piece a variety of feelings and moods. There is no way to duplicate one of his pieces.

Each piece is visually stimulating; each piece is an original; each piece is one of a kind. Jeff continues his visual incursion on our eyes with the radical expansion of his craft.

Bret Ashley Moore


Professionally, Brett began working as a decorative artist at a young age, discovering the beauty inherent in the natural process of decay while working on conservation projects of cathedrals and state capitols. He came to appreciate the history recorded in the layers of various decorative campaigns that had preceded him. 

    During a restoration of his home, Brett became enamored by the physical traces discovered of the many souls who had previously made the house a home. Beautifully patterned and preserved matchbooks from the roaring 1920's found under layers of flooring, faded paper with elegant handwriting dated April 11, 1912 which had been lodged behind a baseboard, old photographs of soldiers who had sent snapshots home during war, which had been preserved between layers of wall covering... all of these placeholders of moments from a recent past fueled his imagination where he strives to understand context, on levels both individual and universal. 

Brett Ashley Moore is our deep thinker, an artist who loves to create art from pieces of our past, transforming them into objects of beauty. We are fortunate to have a few of his works of art for sale in our gallery.