When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Benjamin Cohen

"Study of Six Figures & Interior" (homage to Alex Kanevsky) 2011 oil, acrylic & bitumen on canvas 167.5 x 296 cm

"Study of Four Figures and Interior"   2011  oil and acrylic on canvas   198.5 x 304.5 cm

"Study of an Interior/Exterior with Dumbo II"   167x230cm   oil, acrylic and pencil on canvas   2012

Benjamin Cohen is a London born and based artist whose work has gone through the some pretty major transformations in the last few years. Originally a fairly straightforward figurative artist and portraitist (see "Study of Girish" directly above), his more recent paintings have undergone a dramatic fracturing and abstracting process while still retaining some figurative elements. In an interview posted on his website he confesses that he does not know "...if they have been taken too far or if they have not been fragmented enough." I admire his openness and uncertainty in this. There is no doubt about his skills as a painter. But too often artists have a tendency to assert things about their work that can in no way be derived from mere observation. Mr. Cohen is apparently and refreshingly more interested in painting than conceptualizing. He ends the interview by saying, "My practice is not based around a specific concept and so I cannot say what the next logical step will be. The act of making must come first, and then maybe something will arise from that. If I knew what was going to happen next then I would have no desire to keep painting." Whether he continues to explore ever more deeply into abstraction or rediscovers new uses for representation, I'm certain the results will be impressive.

You can see more work with some very hi-res enlargements (well worth the load time) at www.benjamincohenstudio.com

The reference to Alex Kanevsky in the title of the first painting here is telling. Kanevsky is a brilliant painter whose work I posted in August of 2009. I'll have to do an update soon. The influence in style and technique here is clear.

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