JEFF COWEN. PHOTOGRAPHIC WORKS

28 January - 31 March 2012

Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Cologne presents an exhibition by Jeff Cowen titled "photographic works” beginning on January 28th.

The artist tests the boundaries between photography, painting, drawing and sculpture. Cowen works on a thick silver based paper, which he cuts, collages and attacks with various chemicals and specialized darkroom techniques. The evolution from the photographic image to the unique and painterly final print may take the artist months or even years.  This process is consciously controlled only to some extent, but not entirely predetermined. Cowen is on a quest for something he rationally does not understand, but senses and knows exists. His photographic images transcend time and space. He writes: „Making a photograph for me is a paradox, a sacred and violent act. You kill a moment and eternalize it. There is a mysterious metamorphosis that transpires of which I am continuously surprised and in awe of. It’s a transformative process for the observer and the observed”.

Jeff Cowen was born in 1966 in New York City. In 1988 he graduated in Oriental Studies as a University Honors Scholar from New York University and Waseda University in Tokyo. Upon graduation, he continued photographing intensively on the streets of New York and worked as an assistant to Larry Clark. In the course of the 1990s his artistic approach was influenced and altered by his study of drawing and painting. This further informed the artist’s search for the relation between the photographic picture and abstraction. Cowen has been based in Paris and now Berlin since 2001. The Cologne exhibition reveals works of these past ten years including still life, landscape, figure, and abstraction. In many of the works, one senses Cowen’s interest with what he calls the “non-moment”, i.e. the point in time just before or after something has happened. “Like silence, my images can best be described by what they are not.”