Saturday, 7 July 2012

Rauschenberg - From Beyond The Grave

Recently I visited the Hamburgerbahnhoff and whilst seeing the Cy Twombly show, I came across this Rauschenberg that was also included in a room called Stripper from 1962. Now personally I'm not a major Rauschenberg fan, but for some reason I was startled by something he left on this particular painting, as though he was leaving me a clue, or a note, speaking to me from the grave...

 This is the painting on the wall - notice the yellow square in the red...

On Closer inspection, in the middle of this painting is a yellow name card with my name on it - Leo C - Stripper. This isn't the DaVinci Code and I'm not master of symbols signs and Hieroglyphics but this is strange. Perhaps he is hinting to me another way to support my artistic habits or something? Jus kidding! A little spooky. Like Basquiat leaving ghost trails over artworks in invisible ink.
Where's the art historian to help me figure this one out!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

New Collage - Up and Down

"Up and Down,
And in the End it's only Round and Round and Round..." (2012)
26cm x 17cm
Matches, Glue, Paper
Leo Cohen

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Diane Arbus excerpt - Martin Gropius Bau exhibition 2012 Berlin

Sometimes I feel on the exact same page as others (like Diane for one), in their investigations and explorations of people, subcultures, minorities, both rich and sordid diversities that this world has to offer.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

New Collage - If Sartre met Lindemulder... (2012)

If Sartre met Lindemulder... (2012)
29cm x 25cm
Matches, paper, glue
Leo Cohen

Friday, 22 June 2012

New Olympic Collage - Amir Khan

Amir Khan (2012)
23cm x 15.5cm
Matches, Glue, Paper, Watercolour
Leo Cohen

Friday, 4 May 2012

So What's New Leo

Lots of people have been asking me so what's new Leo, what's happening with your art? How come they're not hearing much from me at the moment. Well it's not that I'm not keeping busy, in fact I'm extremely busy all the time.

I've refrained from exhibiting lately in group shows this year and have been deliberately holding back images of new work as well until I'm ready to. I guess I'm taking that time out to focus on a new portfolio or body of works that I feel positive about, as opposed to rushing bits out here and there (like I did in the past) for group shows without spending much time to really reflect on what I had made.

Having my studio has also meant I have been able to work a lot of things out for myself: How long it takes me to make pieces of work, small sculpture, large sculpture, collages etc. or how much materials am I using for each piece. These various important questions can only be answered when spending enough hours on them. So the collection is building, but gradually. I've been able to construct a better sense of my craft, my skills and my artistic interests.

Because my work is quite obsessive, one thing I fear is that it is too slow, and I'm not making as many works as I would like to as a result. Often when I am working on a piece, I get half way through and still feel like this is hopeless. Then suddenly closer to completing the piece I feel the reward, suddenly it was worth spending a month just on that one piece. But I often think if I was working in a more speedy medium, such as drawing or painting or something similar, I'd have created a thousand works already with my obsessive work ethic. As some of you already know, those who've seen small images on my camera I carry round of my recent works, it's quite labour intensive. The amount of hours gone into the work is evident enough. Others of you will come to see and find out in time.

My collages can often take up to four weeks each to make (and that is in between everything else I have to do on the go). I try to figure out how many pieces I could make in a year, working out ways of speeding up processes, how to prepare the materials better. Can I buy certain things ready made, can I outsource, how can I cut costs, can this be laser cut, engraved by machine or is it cheaper to learn to hand engrave myself? So many small and big things to work out. Since each piece is bespoke, unique and isn't mass produced, copied, or printed, it makes it harder to produce a collage or sculpture series quickly, but rest assure I am working on a couple of small series / limited editions alongside the bigger pieces for people to collect in the near future.When the time is right, when the time is right.

And like the Dutch Grolsch advert says "We only let you drink it when it's ready", so I'm laying low, doing my bit, but still rolling my rock and learning new things all the time.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Vasovagal Attack

Today I had an extremely bad vasovagal attack towards the end of a family luncheon. It's not sure what psychologically triggered the attack but in the past it has always been conversations surrounding medical procedures or discussing complications where things go wrong, discourse surrounding malfunctions of the heart, heart disease, heart failure, arteries etc.

When it comes on, the first sign is a shortness in breath. I feel like I need to breathe more, and when I find it harder to breathe, more panic sets in. The tinnitus in my ears grows stronger and a feeling of cold sweat begins to surge through me in waves. This ultimately leads to intense feelings of nausea and dizziness. There is an overall weakness now in my legs and my body feels very shakey. I need to lay low. Staying upright feeds the nausea. My mind is as sharp as ever and knows what is happening yet my words become mumble jumble, calling to others to help me but it doesn't come out that way. But how can they actually help me when I don't even know what is happening to me exactly or how to be helped.

The Doctors had never really been able to find the answers for my fainting episodes which occurred since childhood and labelled them under the umbrealla of vasovagal - which is often when they can determine it but not how to cure it.

"Please, I need some cold water" I think I said. In the past, with the onset of an attack cold water has sometimes helped me to recover in these situations when I have also felt very dehydrated. Yet this time was different. The water did not seem to revive me or give me any strength needed to withstand the dizziness.

Changes in light and dark began to occur, subtle or patchy flickering.
I lay there on the ground, hoping for it to stop, knowing something bad was happening to me but how could I make it stop? I couldn't. "I must just take whatever is coming to me" I thought. I was losing control, I was heading into tunnel vision, shock, and then I blacked out...


It feels like an intense combination of dying. Like a stroke or a seizure.

Mixed with intense visuals, stars, millions of colourful images flashing rapidly before your eyes.


I wake up with some of these images slowly fading back into reality - the patchy carpet which I have passed out on still slightly undulating. At this point, more oxygen has reached my brain as a result of being flat on the ground. The blood can flow better.

There are tears flowing from my eyes or at least it feels like they are. I'm not sure if I was hallucinating this or not because I have felt the same thing during many LSD experiences in the past where they were actually teardrop hallucinations.

My chest feels like somebody has kicked it in extremely hard. If one imagines a chamber in which my heart is kept, the walls of this chamber feel beaten and bruised.

All I want to do is lie down and go to sleep, I feel so week. In my mind I've made it through, it has passed, it is over! I will live to see another day!

It is not a spiritual moment. It is actually a very mortal moment. I feel I can die, and my body which is designed to survive is desperately searching in my mind to find a way to stay alive. It want's to survive at least mentally, but is fighting something physical inside of me. There is a fight for control here too, and a loss of control. When the body just needs to do what it needs to do, and you have to let it take it's course of action, no matter how right or wrong it is.

I remember reading in Dostoevski's "the Idiot" where a similar feeling occurs to the central character who suffers from epilepsy. MRI scans in previous years showed I did not suffer from epilepsy. But in this particular chapter which Dostoevsky builds up his character has an epileptic fit which almost perfectly matches my own. What is different perhaps is the triggers.

Nevertheless. I think I will try to have an ECG to check for any other heart abnormalities that may have appeared recently.

For the time being I'm weak but well.