Monday, July 3, 2017

Healthy Art. A Review of Long-Time Friend Adam Cohen, His Work, His Art

Adam Cohen 

"Cohen's work is first and foremost playful. But to fully understand his range of expression one must experience how Adam's paintings seize the imagination as they instantly transport one away from languid reality. One is forcibly pushed into Cohen’s private world where he packs the canvas with rivers of fluidic color in a snapshot of emotion that extends the senses to unseen realms and to alternate realities. He takes control by directing our attention with subtle lines, pointers that pull the eye to other elements that suggest anatomies, architecture, and subtle objects. He taunts and teases us by building the composition just enough to be completed by our imagination.

In waterfalls of color, Cohen 'squeezes the tube' and joyfully transports us to noble realms where greats like Pollock Kandinsky and Johns reside. Cohen steps away from the violence and the frantic motives, symbols and politics of 20th century artists, geniuses who found inspiration in substances and other forms of self-inflicted angst. Cohen takes no pleasure in such pain. With warm colors and clean fresh lines, he pushes the senses to the limit as he takes us to a kinder and gentler direction in 21st Century Modern Art.

Cohen's redefinition of abstract impressionism does not only "reflect a connection" with other realities but rather he transmits them through his ability to communicate directly the visual experience of what Terrence Mckenna defines as "the cosmic giggle." He does not shout at us. He does not try to make a point, but rather he takes us by the hand and walks us beside peaceful rivers of visual consciousness, of flowing paint that hypnotizes and delights in playful jaunts across the canvas. With elegant simplicity, Cohen communicates from quantum realms. If his paintings were not so alive and so very vibrant they could very well lead to death by astonishment as the intensity of hallucinatory color electrifies the visual cortex. To own a Cohen painting is too continually experience the absolute. Like repeatedly enjoying the first bite intensity of cheesecake, a divine romance begins with every glance into the eternal soul of every painting he creates.

Cohen's generous use of paint forms hills and valleys between layers of paint. Minimal blending of pre-mixed color applied with brush and knife amplifies shadows and reflections as the paint merges and wanders in the spaces between strokes of his artistic alchemy. The genius of the work instantly grabs you and asks "Why is this painting so very pleasing?" What looks like controlled chaos moves to reverence as the theme of each painting is revealed by the titles he has carefully chosen for each of them. The three-dimensional layering of paint reveals Cohen's technical style as he once again "squeezes the tube" (as he was encouraged to do by his friend and mentor Lillian Marzell). With endless talent technique tricks and tools, Cohen fiercely competes with the giants of Modern Art to connect us with a fresh new vision that echoes from a very personal very spiritual place inside of him. Decades of exposure to the qualities of Kriya Yoga and meditation extend the gift of transcendental consciousness to us. Cohen completely eliminates the baser qualities found in the angst and strife of the "starving artists" of yesteryear. His style could be partly defined as 'optimistic futurism'. The work is light, elegant and stress-free. It showcases what effortless positive thought can produce when paint is directed with pure consciousness onto an unsuspecting canvas.

Cohen quickly and painlessly inoculates us from the plague of digital computer generated art, a skill set Cohen mastered commercially in the early nineteen eighties when he blended Bauhaus, Deco, and Banskiesque Urban Pop-art onto the pages of every major magazine. Cohen formalized this style and made it his own when he began producing these images entirely on early Apple computers. Cohen was first off the line to create these early computer graphics that hit every nerve on Madison Avenue - in a good way. Cohen raided the commercial world, capturing entire markets by seducing a generation of publishers with imagery so modern, so innovative that he literally had every magazine in New York paying top dollar for his work. He briefly preempted the likes of Glaser and Scher with amusing urban landscapes and visual stories that take a diagonal view of The New Yorker Magazine's hilarious weekly cartoons of life in the big city. The idea of using computer software to create story-telling-images of the big city sealed his good fortune as the first celebrated digital artists of the day. We can imagine the delight, and the comments, of New Yorker cartoonists Ziegler and Mankoff when they first saw Cohen's work. The simplicity of early computer software along with Cohen's deliberate flexing and twisting of urban lines broke every rule of foreshortening and characterized Cohen's work as identifiable exclusively to him as his own unique style. Today we are seeing the same exciting and clever attributes on the many canvases created by Cohen as he embarks on his fourth year as the mature and exciting fine artist that he is.

Adam Cohen is an artist with a fair advantage. A spiritual advantage. Seemingly capable of on demand quantum leaps through time-space he appears like a ninja to instantly slay whatever challenge he touches, whether it be a computerized design, paint on canvas or interior design, his heightened awareness lends the same taste style and refinement to whatever objective he applies himself. The result is always the same, a harmonic and balanced kind of Feng Shui on steroids... the same effect time after time. In no uncertain terms whatever Cohen touches turns to gold.



When artists forge new directions with passions that inspire, society benefits. Artists are the true leaders of the future as they peel back the protective layers of fear, public illusion and melt the dangerous levels of programmed defensiveness and hostility. They cut through the illusions to inspire us to create beautiful things and live beautiful lives of our own. Adam just lays it out there. He puts it on a canvas right up in your face for all to see. In the final analysis, artists give us an updated template of the possibilities behind what is quite literally the human potential movement. A movement valued and cherished by all who aspire to stretch their very human capabilities with the grace and power of the universal heart.

I have known Adam for over 40 years and look forward to all of the incarnations of his Celestial Journey. The advent and promise of consciousness rising predicted by the Mayans for the year 2012 is now manifesting itself through the channels provided by fine artists like Adam Cohen. The many Indigo Children born today will be providing us with much of the same translations of the quantum fields through their art music and 21st Century engineering. The promise of enhanced genetics and real human progress is the hope and the dream of humanity as we struggle to know ourselves. If Cohen suggests a beginning of this in his artwork we can view it as a promise of a better more dignified future. A future that reflects the true spirit of humanity. One not threatened by an eschaton at the end of time.

     Bill Zimmermann

Adam Cohen's work can be purchased at the Carrie Haddad Gallery, New York.

Adam Cohen Studio: official website.

Adam Cohen ART SY "Twenty Eight Works"

©Bill Zimmermann 2017

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