Artist Q&A with Jeane Cohen

“Angel”, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in | 152 x 122 cm, 2020

Why did you become an artist?

I couldn’t help it. At this point I would have to say that being an artist chose me. It sounds cliché but that’s how it has worked out. I used to think I should do something more practical, I still think that actually, and so I worked in the social services and as a counselor for a long time, even recently at the Chelsea Foyer in Manhattan. I would work these jobs and then go to the studio to paint. When I had less time to paint I felt terrible. Eventually I realized that I should just prioritize painting so I’m on that track now. 

How is your work different than everything else out there?

My work has vitality and momentum. It is emotionally real, wild and alive. The union of the painted materiality and subjects are what give my painting a demanding immediacy. One important thing to understand about my work is that it transcends the traditional dichotomy of figuration and abstraction. Instead of operating within these binaries the works range in their loyalty to referential space and they track what I see as I move through the world. It is perceptual in that way and built of many sensations strung along together. The work resists an easy categorization although there are constantly emerging themes such as growth, nature, instability, transition, lurking danger, and survival. 
I think the work is unusual because it is earnest and generous without being didactic or thematically concise. The work gets to the reality of simultaneous contradictory experiences and the discomfort of interruption or not having an easy answer on hand. In Split Fires at Slag Gallery there are … Click here to read more