Peter Bradley Cohen
My practice, based in Hudson NY, is focused on sculpture and digital photography. I work primarily with found and industrial materials such as structural steel, but am currently working on several different and varied projects across my practice.
Sugar-coated is a new digital photographic series I’m working on that explores the spin, myth and misrepresentation in the news, social media, online content, politics, religion and society in general. This work takes existing photographic content and sugar coats and spins seemingly ugly, painful, disturbing and controversial issues, people and events.
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 this process involves the act of improvisation, reflecting my interest in the unpredictable nature of human and natural expression. My 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.
The idea of portable art has always been incredibly appealing to me. My practice has been inspired and informed by objects, often religious, or sentimental that people worship, collect or carry with them. The idea that these inanimate objects are thought to possess magical powers provides an interesting parallel to how art has been coveted historically.
Every artist has thought about how to respond to the presidency of Donald Trump. I wanted to create something that would be of the 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.
Talk with the Animals
This series of work was undertaken during a residency at the Vermont Studio Center and has been expanded on since that time. All of the materials used in the construction of this work are from non-animal products--faux fur, cast wax filet's, cast wax chicken drumsticks, pleather, synthetic rabbit foot key chains and more.
In this work I sought a voice and construct that addresses the complex issues around our relationship with animals in the context of factory farming. This work is intended to be approachable and entertaining, but at the same time it is meant to raise some disturbing issues, which is part of their allure. There is a definite darkness at play, in some cases more overt and in others beneath a pretty veneer. The work is intended to engender a dialogue and bring about awareness that these creatures are sentient beings and our decisions and behavior have consequences for them, for human health and for the environment.