Richard Alan Cohen
June 11 – July 7, 2019
Reception June 13, 2019 7 PM
Gallery talk June 13, 2019 6:15 PM
I am now privileged to be a full-time fine art photographer, having transitioned from a 40 year career in biomedical research. While the camera is my principal tool of discovery, the stages of my work have not changed. The discovery (now of light, color, and form), the development of the idea highlighted by the discovery (now in image enhancement, printing, revision, and editing), and the public presentation (now online and in galleries), remains much the same process as my previous career with many of the same rewards. I am lucky to have discovered that contemporary photography represents just as vibrant a community as does contemporary scientific research.
What is it that attracts my eye that I wish to communicate? In research, much of my work was directed at the function of cell membrane proteins. The membranes of a cell are an interface that separates its compartments, and as a result, are where all the communication to and from is focused. In discovering my photographic images, I put myself at a similar interface – the eyepiece, the lens, the monitor, the printer – and search for visual information coming and going. I have become fascinated by how the flat surface of a boat hull along its waterline – or even on a decaying plant – can hold accumulated residues, scratches, wrinkles, and scrapes that can convey the space of a landscape or seascape, or the passage of time. The patterns of wear and oxidized paint flowing from drain holes on the boat hulls have provided indisputable records of pollutants entering the sea, and offer another portal of information.
As I have searched for landscape imagery along boat hull waterlines, I have been struck by evidence of the record of water pollution. The waterline is sometimes interrupted by drains and scupper holes from which the outflow leaves traces of various corrosives, rust, and pollutants disgorged from within. The drain hole is the concentrated source of these pollutants that are diluted once they enter the sea. The color and forms introduced by the interaction of the pollutants with the boat’s bottom paint provide iconic symbols of man’s disturbance of nature, and are inescapable evidence of the downside of the sailor’s voyage upon the sea.
Richard Alan Cohen grew up in Portland and attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick where he co-majored in art and science. Having always maintained an interest in art, he has now transitioned from a 40-year career in cardiovascular research to being a full-time fine art photographer. The aspects of discovery (now of subject, light, and color in the field) as well as the imagination and creativity involved in the development of the concept of each image (now in editing and printing), are very similar in the two careers, with many of the same rewards. Richard has exhibited his photographs in numerous solo and group shows at venues including 555 Gallery, Panopticon Gallery, the Griffin Museum of Photography, Galatea Gallery, and Sohn Fine Art.
Based on his experience as a youth in and around boatyards, many recent images are derived from photographs of the sides of boat hulls sitting in their cradles. The waterline is perceived as an horizon, and imperfections and encrustations accumulated during the passing seasons provide the abstract details of imagined landscapes, perhaps those that could be seen from the boats themselves as they sailed. He has also perceived abstract landscapes in the dying fronds of agave cacti in his series, “Agave Night Visions”, and has visualized landscapes also in mossy, rotting tree stumps in “Moonlit”.
Gallery on the Green, Canton CT “Along the Waterline”
Gallery on the Green, Canton CT “Objectives of Desire: Vignettes”
SOWA First Friday Morse Editions
Galatea Gallery, Boston “Objectives of Desire”
SOWA First Friday Morse Editions
SOWA First Friday Morse Editions
Two-Person Juried Show
“Waterlines”. Westport Free Library, sponsored by the Westport (MA) Art Group, Awarded by Karen Davis of Davis-Orton Gallery, Hudson, NY.
Five-Person Juried Shows
Panopticon Gallery, Boston. First Look 2018. Six “Waterline” images selected by gallery director, Kat Kiernan.
Sohn Gallery, Lenox MA. 7th Annual Juried Show, Jurors: Ann Jon, Wayne Alpern, Jonas Dovydenas, and Susan Wissler. 4 selected images, Waterlines-3 and -11, Overboard-1 and-3.
Group Juried Shows
Plymouth Center for the Arts, 8th Annual Fine Art of Photography Open Juried Exhibition, Jurors: Mark Chester, Suzanne Revy, Bob Singer, Selected Image: “Overboard-3”.
New England Collective IX juried exhibition, Juror: Marni Elyse Katz. Selected image: “Passage-Black Spruce Bog”
Griffin Museum of Photography: Photographic Abstractions, Lafayette City Gallery juried exhibition, Juror: Paula Tognarelli. Selected image: “Agave Night Vision-9”.
Gallery on the Green, 31st Annual Open Juried Exhibition, Juror: Melanie Carr. Selected image: “Passage-Sumac”
Fotofoto Gallery, Huntington, NY, 14th National Juried Competition, Juror: Charles Riley. Selected image: Waterline-11.
Gallery on the Green, Canton, CT, Artists Association, 50th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, Juror, Lisa Hayes Williams, New Britain (CT) Museum of American Art, Selected image: “Waterline-15”.
Ashton Gallery, San Diego, CA, Orange is the New Black, Juror: Jenna S. Jacobs, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, Selected image: “Psyche”.
Griffin Museum of Photography: “The Visual Metric”, Juror, Paula Tognarelli, Lafayette Center Gallery, Selected image: “Finale”
Westport Art Group: “Treasure”, Juror, Karen Davis, 3 selected images from “Objectives of Desire: Vignettes”, awarded two-person show.
Davis-Orton Gallery: 3rd Annual Group Show, Juror, Paula Tognarelli, Selected image: “Bilge drain”.
Griffin Museum of Photography: “Space” exhibition, Lafayette Center Gallery, Juror, Paula Tognarelli, Selected image: “Psyche”
Gallery on the Green, Canton, CT, Artists Association, 44th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, Selected image: “Snail Pool”
Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, Portsmouth NH, New Hampshire Artists Association, Open Juried Exhibition, Selected image: “Frames”, Juror’s honorable mention
Atelier 21 at The Rockport Art Association, Griffin Museum of Photography
Atelier 21: Griffin Museum of Photography
Don’t Take Pictures: Rule Breakers, featured Waterlines, curated by Kat Kiernan, August 30, 2017, https://goo.gl/LdmvaU
aPhotoEditor, featured Ambiguity of Cityspace, curated by Jonathan Blaustein, November 6, 2015, https://goo.gl/a2xEQ3
Griffin Museum of Photography: 24th Annual Juried Exhibition, Director’s Award: Paula Tognarelli, Griffin Museum Solo Show awarded June/July 2019.
International Fine Art Photography Awards, Nominee, Abstract Category: Overboard
Neutral Density Awards, Honorable mention (Conceptual category): Alien Portraits
Neutral Density Awards, Honorable mention (Conceptual category): Waterlines
Neutral Density Awards, Honorable mention (Conceptual category): Overboard
Neutral Density Awards, Honorable mention (Conceptual category): Objectives of Desire: Ginza
Neutral Density Awards, Honorable mention (Conceptual category): Objectives of Desire: Vignettes
Neutral Density Awards, Honorable mention (Conceptual Category): Ambiguity of Cityspace,
Neutral Density Awards, Honorable mention (Conceptual Category): What the Dummies Can Tell Us
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine: Graduation with Art Minor, 1972.
Photoshop and printing training, William Morse, 2013-2017.
Atelier 21 with Meg Birnbaum at Griffin Museum of Photography, 2014.
D65 Creativity workshop with John Paul Caponigro and Seth Resnick, Cushing Maine, 2016.
Galatea Gallery, Boston. MA 2015-2017
Gallery on the Green, Canton, CT 2016-
Kingman Gallery, Deer Isle, Maine. Gallerist: Anne Page