Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Catching up with Alex Cohen (Part 1 of 2)

Alex Cohen: "Art kept me out of getting into trouble."

He may only be 22 years old but Alex Cohen appears to be wiser beyond his years. This Chicago native creates pieces that are as bold and colorful as his style. We first spotted this young up-and-comer at Antena Gallery's ‘Short Court’ but we caught up with Cohen to talk more about his work, upcoming projects and why art has helped to completely transform his life.

What made you realize you wanted to become an artist?
After I dropped out of high school I had a lot of free time on my hands. I would frequent museums and ride the trains alone for hours and just walk around downtown listening to music. I would see things that interested me and I guess I just tried to replicate that in my free time. I also used to make art with my mom when I was younger and it's also just in the culture of skateboarding. A lot of the older people I looked up to made art as well. It was always there. It was really just after dropping out of high school that I really started exploring art again. It kept me out of getting in trouble.

Who’s your all-time favorite artist and why?
I have a few favorite artists. I'll give you three: Matisse, Bob Thompson, and Chris Johanson. These artists really speak to me through their inventiveness of material and process. They all also use bright colors, which is something I do in my practice. Color is pure.

How would you describe your style?
Fun. I hope that's what people get out of it - that life is fun and exciting. Life isn't a sad long miserable process it's actually really fun you just have to surround yourself with the right people to enjoy its full “funness”! But yeah when I create a work I try to think how fun I can make it look and feel.

(to be continued) - Irish S

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