DO NOT

2016, Oil On Canvas, 130×195 cm

Artist Statement // Gal Cohen My main mediums are painting, drawing and installation as my art is figurative and self reflective. My art is acting on the delicate balance and the integration between formal matters of painting, and the external issues that my painting serves such as socio-political statements and criticism. Within the dynamics of these formal and conceptual aspects, my socio-political criticism and statements function as sort of an after-taste to the formal, sensual experience that the painting installations provide the viewer with. In terms of conceptual aspects, my artistic production explores potential interactions between facts and fiction as my main ambition is to generate new narrations concerning collective memory, social inherited conventions, history, identity, gender, and otherness in contemporary societies. In other words, my work is a concrete attempt to critique dominant modes of normality. The imagery and content I deal with include socio-political criticism, representation of gender identities and roles, awkwardness and ironic scenes, heteronormativity, generational perceptions and gaps. In terms of formal issues, my work contends to challenge painting conventions and break down hierarchies between different painting methods in terms of the painting as an object, gravity and physicality of paintings, matters of site specificity and installation, the way paintings interact with each other and charge each other with meaning under a certain context, the process of painting as the final piece and more.

Pieces of New York

2016, Collage with Acrylic,

Palimpsests – “Pieces of New York” “Pieces of New York” is made of various layers of torn stickers; stickers, flyers and posters that I found in different walls, trashcans, posts and throughout the corners of Manhattan. This piece resembles a collection of memories that I have collected from my time living here; each coating representing a different part of the city and what I have experienced there. All of the billboards that I have ripped off are pieces that have caught my attention as I walked pass them, ones that I consider art. I wanted to create a personal, final piece made out of small art pieces from anonymous artists. The bottom layers are made of stickers from the furthest neighborhoods. The middle layers are composed of pieces that I came across in Greenwich village and Parsons area (places where most of my time is spent at). The top layer is composed of posters that were made by other Parsons students that are hanged in the hallway of Kerrey Hall building, where I live. Finally, the outermost layer are paint stains. I intentionally splashed paint on top of the collage to make it personal and to include something of my own.

Recyclable Humanity

2016, Sculpture from Recycled Paper, 1’x3′

The overall dedication of this piece is to the pollution and ultimate destruction of our planet on the account of us, humans, living on it. The impact our actions have had and continue to have on this planet are truly devastating. The most alarming thing to the population that inhabits Earth is that it not only that our carelessness destroys the ecosystems but will inevitably seize our existence as well. Through this sculpture, I wish to display an eye-opening proactive standpoint at the direct effect the devastation of the environment has on Humanity as I believe this will, unfortunately, be the only thing that awakens the people of Earth. The piece displays the suicide humanity is committing by not taking matters seriously on a large enough scale to reverse the effects of climate change and destruction. The bodies head is covered by a garbage bag to show the veil of blindness that too much of the public still currently holds to the effects we have on our planet. The reason for the sculpture of trash underneath the hanging body is to represent all the infrastructure we’ve constructed on unstable and reckless terms of how we use Earth’s resources that will inevitably fall out and quite literally, ‘leave us hanging’. The trash pile also goes hand in hand with the common tipping of a stool during hanging suicide attempts. The last aspect of the piece is the recycle symbol on the bodies chest; this is used to keep the idea that humanity itself os quite recyclable as well similar to the many species that previously followed our existence. Humans will not push forward through our most taxing world issue until we as a collective realize, and take action with togetherness and strength to change the infrastructure of unsustainable large corporations whose end goal is to maximize profits at all cost. Until we can do this and more importantly IF we can do this then our fate will not end up like my sculpture presented before you. Thank You.

Tainted Memories

Materials used: Newspaper Glue Acrylic paint Pencil Indian ink

Made on: Oct 28th 2016 Dimension: Canvas 2D with texture

Tainted Memories: The ar’st’s interpreta’on of the artwork looks into how some memories, represented by the newspaper pieces, get tainted with nega’ve emo’ons which don’t seem to wash away, just like the dark Indian ink itself. The subject of the piece is not based of anyone, in a@empt to give it an amorphous form. It gives the audience a chance to find their own form of self-reflec’on within the piece and make their own meaning.

Beautification

2016, Acrylic Paint, Marker, Mixed Media, Colored Pencil, 10 x 6.3 inches
2016, Watercolor, Pen, 6.3 x 9 inches
2015, Graphite, Marker, Tape, Mixed Media, 9.8 x 6.5 inches

Palimpsest was introduced to me as a type of layered manuscript. That idea of layering not only got me thinking of the city itself and the architecture but also about the people who make up New York City. I dove deeper into what it means to be a New Yorker and examined what layers formed a palimpsest that attribute to my identity here. Some layers I identify with have personal meaning that would be hard to explain to those who haven’t had the same experiences I have. To simplify it all, I decided to look into my sketchbook and find some layering to exemplify my palimpsests. Layers of packing lists, college essay drafts, and sketches lie beneath imagery that speaks for the emotions involved in those processes, creating a window to my experiences.

Permanent Change

2016 Mixed Media

Create. Destroy. Create. Destroy. This is the process of renewal. Those who create, destroy, and those who destroy, create. This is necessary for change, and we need change or we’ll grow stagnant, wither, and decay. In order to change, we must build upon what once was. We can place our mark on what that may be, better things for the whole of society or for ourselves. Change need not be on a large scale always instead it can be a small scale for it can still have a large impact. Scale is relative. Change is painless, change hurts, it depends on the circumstance. But the wounds will heal, it takes time. You can make yourself whole again. You can mend yourself. Damage needs to be done to change, some form of it. If you remain you are destroyed. You should not remain. You cannot remain. For those who remain become destroyed, and change overtakes and creates again.

Remains

2016 Photography 11 x 17

Palimpsests are everywhere but we usually tend to overlook them. It’s defined as a writing that has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain. It can also be something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form. The eight images portray the concept of something that once was. The idea of an abandon home leaves room for the mind to wander of its earlier state and of the unknown memories that it holds. The abandon house was discovered during a journey through the woods. When I came upon it my first instinct was to walk in and see what I could find. Stepping through piles of broken furniture and trash I could see the life that once lived. All that remained were the traces but those traces were already enough. Now I ask the one who observes, what do you see?

 

1. “Success in the City” , 2. “Time to Come and Time to Go”

1. “Success in the City” Date: June 28, 2014 Medium: Photograph Dimensions: 17×12.75

2. “Time to Come and Time to Go” Date: March 24, 2016 Medium: Photograph Dimensions: 17 x12

1. Title: “Success in the City”
Statement: How far can you go? How big can you become? How long will it last?

2. Title: “Time to Come and Time to Go”
Statement: People come to this city for many reasons, but is there a particular time in a person’s life to come here and then to leave?

Entwine

2016 Film prints, timber, wrapping paper, ink on bristol 297 x 420 cm

Palimpsest to me isn’t just the traces of writings, or the torn posters on the side of buildings. Palimpsest is a concept of layering time, it is the happenings; moments which we know wouldn’t exist the next second. Ten photographs displayed were taken when I explored the city at night. When the streets quiet down, and lone shadows drift through the wind. I was there. All happenings are merely actions layered on actions on a canvas called time, and at some point, they all vanish. A bridge, a vehicle, a furniture, a party, a shadow, me. “Here I would come to remember not so much the beauty of the past as the beauty of remembering,” written by André Aciman in Shadow Cities (Letters of Transit). Thus I capture moments to capture time, to remember the happenings as they are happening. In so, the act of remembering is what layers on top of each other. In such a pace city memories deteriorate; our minds are always occupied by one or more tasks, and we forget time. But this neglecting of time is different; it is to be self-conscious. How often do we wander on the streets middle of the night and let our minds be? I marked down the times of the photographs because I lost count during the moment; because I was in the moment. Thinking of nothing yet aware of how surrounded I was. Surrounded by all happenings, vanished happenings, and those yet to happen. because self-consciousness is what makes us human. I am a four year tourist, arrived in August 2016, only months have I been here yet this city feels like home. The irony of avoiding a city life is when you’ve lived in one for your entire life and still chose New York. Thus I come to terms with myself, recognize the need to find comfort halfway across the world from home, to be self-aware, and to feel alive. New York City the never-sleeping-city is most beautiful when the streets are empty, because it is then you see the marks left by the happenings; without distractions, to really feel the city’s livelihood beyond the overwhelmingness to the senses. This is New York in a Minor Key, but it’s not the city which creates the melody, it is those who reside within. Portfolio: http://tiffany703.wixsite.com/frogoutsidethewell Instagram: xceandust_

 

POTUS

2016, Pencil on paper,11’17,

A Palimpsest is something that is reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form. For the past two terms President Barack Obama has led our country to greatness. He has achieved many great things over the past eight years and to think that all of his hard work will be erased is worrisome. In my palimpsest project I am portraying two images of Obama in which one is erased. The concept of the images being side by side is to convey the idea that Obama is now leaving his presidency with the possibility of these two candidates, in my opinion who are unfit and incapable of being our next President. The erased image has the same concept of the idea that one of these candidates could erase all of the accomplishments that Obama has achieved.