jeff cohen

"My work is often described as realism, and sometimes photorealism, but I don’t think of it that way. I do use photographs as reference, and the finished paintings have a photographic effect; but the method I use involving the breaking down of the image into a grid and reconstructing the individual squares opens up opportunities for interpretation that go far beyond conventional realism. I suspect that many if not most realist painters vary and interpret from their reference material more than we realize, unless we see the reference images for ourselves, but my work exposes the interpretive process, because I don’t try to make the individual tiles match. Forms and colors are determined tile by tile, and I sometimes emphasize the differences purposefully. Somehow the viewer’s brain puts it all back together, and the missing parts that the mind fills in add a crucial component to the work."