London, United Kingdom
About Benjamin Cohen
“I often refer back to the black and white photographs of family members who were killed at Auschwitz/Birkenau, Majdanek, Stutthof and Theresienstadt. No longer are these photographs just portraits; they become more, something overwhelmingly nauseating. I’d like to think that I could achieve a similar effect in my paintings but I do not know how”. Cohen has been investigating the dialogue between computer collage and the act of painting for over two years. He cites artists Oehlen, Martin Kippenberger, Werner Büttner, David Salle and Jack Goldstein as the starting point for his reappraisal of painting as a medium, drawn to the possibilities of remodelling and reshuffling painting styles appropriated from art history. Cohen’s research builds on the longstanding use of the computer in planning his work, building compositions in Photoshop as the starting point for his paintings. Cohen trawls the Internet, books, magazines, film stills, photographs, extracts of paintings from art history and his own work, processing his findings onscreen for use. The recent painting Thoughts of Terminal Refreshment 2013 presents the final stages of this ‘programming’ of images, once they have been reconfigured onto a support of canvas, aluminium or perspex. Completing the cycle, the paintings are documented as digital images, uploaded online for computer-based consumption and potential recycling elsewhere. Recent work offers a snapshot of Cohen’s ongoing consideration of his approach, namely his ‘tug-of-war’ with representation and abstraction. This has been accelerated by a recent departure towards a more monochrome palette, experimentation with smaller formats and different surfaces, posing fresh challenges for Cohen’s practise.
Central Saint Martins
MA Fine Art
School of Saatchi
In 2009 Cohen was one of the last 30 artists to be considered for the Channel 4 programme School of Saatchi.
Interviewed by: Tracy Emin, Kate Bush, Matthew Collings and Frank Cohen.
Frank Cohen collection - Philipp Sachs collection - Hermann Eisenköck collection
For a full list of recent & past exhibitions please see www.benjamincohenstudio.com