A Study in Vivacity

A Study in Vivacity

Sensory overload is the first thing that comes to mind when you first encounter Micci Cohanís stunning collage artworks. Thereís so much going on in each piece that looking at them can be a jarring and overwhelming experience. Sizzling colours practically pop off the page, energetic squiggles and swooping lines crisscross erratically in space, and pouty limpid-eyed women drape their limbs artfully over one another amid a veritable trove of juxtaposing textures and patterns. After the chaos of the first glance calms, it becomes easier to appreciate the unique beauty of each piece. Though Cohanís works are united by the aforementioned stylistic tropes, each piece subtly and intuitively conveys a different emotional experience. Her 2010 collage Mystica emphasises beauty and femininity, evoking a sense of sweet, girlish nostalgia through the softly coiling patterns and brightly flowered vines that surround the head of the female figure. The 2011 work Summoning the Kindred, on the other hand, has much darker undertones despite its cheery colour palette. The beady watchful eyes and forbidding stances of the curiously masked figures hint at an unknown intent that fills the viewer with a sense of apprehension.

Cohan, a born-and-bred New York painter and graphic artist, left Parsons School of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1987. She has been exhibiting her work professionally for 25 years. Whether the subject matter is a female figure, a still life, or a landscape, Cohanís technical artistic ability shines through in her wonderfully expressive painting style, her eye for colour (which, though gaudy, is never garishly so), and her penchant for depicting forms both abstractly and concretely in the same image. The lively, compelling nature of her paintings and collages has earned her much acclaim and resulted in many commissions of her artworks, select exhibitions in a variety of New York art galleries, and even her own jewellery line. Several of the jewellery pieces have obvious connections to Cohanís paintings. Not only do they utilise a wide range of hard and soft materials in bright, vivid tones, their unique designs align them perfectly with their larger, flatter, and slightly-less-wearable counterparts (though if you want to try a painting on for size Ė lame pun fully intended Ė donít let me stop you).

Above all, itís the vibrant sensuality of the works that make them so special. The world as portrayed through Cohanís eyes is enchanting, alluring, flamboyant, loud, and seductive. A beautifully colourful realm of wild blossoms and bright lights wholly envelops the viewer. Cohanís fascination with the female face and form dominates many of her artworks, particularly her more recent pieces, many of which feature enigmatically beautiful, curiously elusive women portrayed against ambiguous, abstract urban and rural backgrounds. Each brushstroke expresses a passionate intensity, making Cohanís works crackle with energy and almost appear to come alive.

Micci Cohanís Artwork Online:
www.miccicohan.net
This article first appeared in Issue 19, 2012.
Posted 4:49pm Sunday 5th August 2012 by Beaurey Chan.