To fly an aircraft is an accomplished feat. Consider the long training, the ground-school instruction, the repetitive practice sessions, the exams and certifications, all the many and varied rituals and procedures to learn - everything from pre-flight checklist to post flights hourly logs. Consider the professional aviators, smart in their sunglasses and uniforms and experts in the physics of flight.
Now consider the opposite, the recklessly fearless fellow, who chucks caution to the wind and learns to fly by hopping into a cockpit and turning a key. In the world of art, Joel Cohen is that guy - he is the guy who learns by sheer passion - a seat-of- the pants flyer from the days of barnstorming and county fairs. He is the gloriously self-taught artist/prankster embracing audacity, humor, and the joyous act of painting itself.
This is not to say that Joel Cohen arrived at art without training. Mr. Cohen is an expert in men’s wear having worked in the fashion industry for over forty-five years. This life-time engagement into all aspects of clothing manufacture and design has given him tremendous understanding of the very building blocks of aesthetics. He brings to his painting an acute and practiced eye for pattern, color, line, and texture. He is a cagey painter-skillfully manipulating harmonies and dissonances, contrasts in scale, and rhythmic energies.
Joel Cohen’s greatest abilities however, are rooted in his unpretentious honesty. He is a decisive painter, bold and creative. Looking at his work we sense simply conviction - they speak to us, as much to say;
This is what Joel made. This is what you get. I hope you like it, he sure had a good time making it.”