Ezra Cohen is an artist who lives and works in Hells Kitchen, New York City. Cohen emerges from the city’s urban fabric as an abstract painter and captures the gist of urban decay, fleeting beauty, and fast-paced living within this densely populated environment. The artist suggests the ephemeral moment through highly textured, built-up surfaces that present no illusion except planes of color.
Black oil and acrylic stretch across the center of Untitled (2012), a 41” x 56” piece of canvas that also portrays an array of dark outlines which attempt to drown out the presence of what once was a white surface. A body of gray divides the composition as hues of beige, turquoise and cream line the edges. Ninth Avenue Window (2012) is slightly larger at 59” x 88” and features a series of three light colored squares colliding in the center of the composition: black lines, framing each shape, attempt to wrest the image apart. Planes of red, white and black clash, mesh and crumple in Big on Top (2012) that measures 66” x 85”. In each case Cohen disposes of illusion through various processes such as sanding, cutting, stapling and scratching out in order to maintain a flat, linear surface.
Ezra Cohen has studied painting with Edla Cusick and Knox Martin. He emphasizes the material nature of paint that serves as a parallel to urban details such as metal plates that cover street gaps, empty storefronts or litter lining crowded thoroughfares. Since 2007 the artist has exhibited his paintings in ten group shows. In 2009 he had two solo shows titled Chair Series at the Domus Gallery, and New Work at the Druids Gallery. Earlier this year he had a solo show titled Recent Work at The Clock Café & Martini Bar in the Bronx. Currently Ezra Cohen’s paintings are on view in 10 Squared: 100 Ways of Looking at the World at the LeRoy Neiman Art Center and in the 4th Annual Small Works Exhibition located at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.
Contact Cohen via email, ezra [dot] cohen [dot] 712 [at] gmail [dot] com