Peter Bradley Cohen
Peter Cohen is a sculpture artist based in the Boston area. Working primarily with found and industrial materials such as structural steel. Peter is currently working on 3 bodies of work all predicated on 3D assemblage—Balance & Symbols, Rage and The Voice.
Balance & Symbols
This work explores the tension and balance between geometric rigidity and organic fluidity, material weight and the impression of weightlessness. With traces of assemblage, much of Peter’s process involves the act of improvisation, reflecting his interest in the unpredictable nature of human and natural expression. His work also strives to create a sense that the viewer has stumbled upon an object that looks and feels untouched, random. This element speaks to the inherent power of the found object. It’s about the chance encounter with something that is pure.
Every artist has thought about how to respond to the presidency of Donald Trump. I wanted to create something that would be of this moment, yet would be meaningful into the future no matter the state of democracy. Less conceptually, I needed to more immediately and personally express my own feelings as well as the general mood of so many Americans since November.
The body of work is called “Rage.” This is not merely my own rage, or my friends; Donald Trump invites rage in his opponents. More important, more tragic, and more destructive, he has fueled and ignited rage in his followers. He thrives on rage. Red is the color of rage--War aggression, blood.
This body of work began recently while on a recent residency at the Vermont Studio Center this summer. The artist has long been looking for an engaging and effective way to address the issues around what we as humans do to animals in the context of factory farming. The work is intended to be approachable, entertaining and has an element of humor in an attempt to be didactic--hopefully helping people make the connection around the consequences of actions as they relate to animal cruelty, human health and the environment without hitting them over the head with something gruesome. Factory farming has an enormous impact across all of these dimensions—there is strong scientific evidence that the growing volume of beef production will create substantive water shortages by the middle of this century, global warming is also due in large part to beef production, the threat of pandemic from chicken and turkey farming, the list goes on and on. All of the materials used a made from non-animal products--faux fur, cast wax filets, chicken drumsticks, pleather, synthetic rabbit foot key chains and more. I see some of this work being executed as individual installations such as the rabbit totem which would be most effective when installed as a group of 10 or more, the same is true for the cast wax towers.