Imaginary landscapes titled as Stories By Night-Light were created while in artist-residency at SPACES. But unlike Kočan´s previous works, these landscapes are imaginary. Here, angels, demons, goddesses, and ghosts emerge from the shadows of dreamy, unidentified vistas. Often shown in profile, these phantoms – birdlike creatures, horses, guardians, figures with wings – are silhouetted against smoky skies bathed in a fiery glow. Ascending the tops of hills or perched on the limbs of trees, they rise in various acts of transcendence, as in Birth of Pegasus and Escape from Hell (Icarus). In other works, they stalk the earth (Angle Hunters, Prairie Ghosts, In the Woods of Demons) or, they serve to console or protect. In Sun Goddess, for example, two Egyptian sentinels guard a radiant yellow orb from which a magnificent bird emerges and spreads her wings.
The inspiration for this series is quite humble. Intrigued by the ambient glow emitted from a lamp in his room in Cleveland, the artist projected light onto found objects and paper cutouts that cast shadows on the wall. After photographing the shadowy forms, Kočan printed the resultant images from a single negative in black and white, then hand-colored them in moody shades of yellow, blue, violet, and orange with transparent washes if ink. Stories By Night-Light also connects to Kočan´s earlier series Shadows of the Spirits from 1998, in which drawn shadows are superimposed onto actual landscapes by layering negatives of the imaginary images with negatives of the real.