Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Artist Interview: Sarah Cohen

What is your name: Sarah Cohen
Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:  I have a formal art education.  I received my BS in Photography at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, and my MFA in Photography at the University of Pennsylvania.
What is the style of your pieces:  All these genres apply to my photography: documentary, black and white, color, still life, straight, found, fine-art, and studio photography. 
What is the medium in which you work:  The medium of choice is film.  I primarily use medium and large format (4x5) film and then scan it in for digital output.  I own a digital camera that I use for fast scenes and for experimentation. 
What started you on your path as an artist:  Freshman year of high school.  Technically, I was always going to be an artist, but I thought a painter.  Then, freshman year of high school, I was forced to take a photography course because the other required course wasn’t available at the time slot I had open.  I had no idea what photography was, I thought film/ video class, which I was not receptive to.  I tried to switch into ceramics, but that was a higher level, so I wasn’t allowed.  Anyway, I stuck through photography, and then continued every semester thereafter with photo classes!  It has been my love ever since (well, ever since we started with the camera.  Oatmeal boxes and photo grams weren’t my favorite).
What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life:  The most important thing art has taught me is the discipline to accept and learn from my failures.
What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: I enjoy Impressionism, particularly the style of Renoir.   
Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like:  I had my own space at the Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA, where I showed four photographs of the same relating to the theme of abandoned pools.  Individual photographs have been shown in group shows, and in my undergraduate and graduate thesis shows, I displayed 4 or 5 photographs from long-term projects.
Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in:  That’s funny!  I typically wear jeans and a screen printed tee shirt - nothing fancy.   
What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist?  There are two frustrating things about being an artist.  One, finding a way to earn a living, especially since the materials for art are so expensive, and two, trying to make art that is different, unique, and has a theme/ thesis/ etc.
What is your favorite sandwich of all time:  Vanilla ice cream, chocolate chip cookie sandwich. 
Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they:  The feedback I received in graduate school this year has compelled me take more risks and have more confidence in my ideas. 
Who is your favorite artist alive or dead:  Augustine Renoir.

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person:
  I saw a collection of George Serat in the Louvre in Paris.
Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work:  Unfortunately, I’m allergic to dogs and cats!!  I’m very sad about that, but I’m sure they would be critical of my work, so that I can grow to be a better, more intellectual artist =)
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us:  At the moment, no, but I will be applying to contests and submitting my work to galleries.
Web address:  My web site is for weddings and events photography,

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