Justin Cohen is a New York City based artist making works on paper. His practice is process and technique based, with an emphasis on portraiture. In creating his highly detailed drawings, Cohen engages in an ongoing material exploration. Materials that include Graphite, Charcoal, Black Colored Pencil, and White Ink. Experimentation with new modes of drawing and a continued evolution of technique are integral to his practice.
Cohen nurtured an interest in drawing from an early age through high school before going on to study computer arts at The School of Visual Arts in NYC. While studying art-making through new technologies, Cohen moved away from works on paper and did not return to portraiture until 2008 ( approx. a 10yr break). Within that 10yr period it wasn’t his skill with a pencil or technique that developed it was his eye. He says what changed most was the way he saw things. Details he couldn’t have seen nor understood when he was younger became more apparent.
Currently, he maintains a rigorous studio practice while working as a photo retoucher in NYC. As a photo retoucher, Cohen applies many of his illustrative techniques to everything from still life products, animals at life scale and photographic portraits.
When asked what advice he can offer to young aspiring artists he says practice, and sacrifice is everything, talent is only half of the equation. Also to not be afraid of taking chances for fear of ruining whatever you’re working on. If you don’t take chances you can never evolve.