• 4.8.10

    Stewart Cohen, Identity: A Photographic Meditation From the Inside Out

    Stewart Cohen's book Identity examines a series of subjects and what makes them unique as individuals. The monograph is compromised of 50 portraits, to which each person Cohen poses the question, "What makes you unique as an individual?" The hand-written answers are displayed on the facing page, giving each portrait a personal touch.

    Cohen doggedly pursued characters for his project for over a decade, some were the result of hours of faxing and letter-writing, others happened serendipitously. There are rock and blues legends such as John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, and Edgar Winter. Artists such as Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer, Fiona Rae, and Andrew Bennett hold court. Lest we forget those who advanced the sciences such as Jack S. Kilby, Jane Goodall, and Stephen Hawking. Playwrights, novelists, directors, architects, musicians, actors, and many more characters grace the pages of Cohen's book.

    Cohen was asked what drove him to make this book, and he responded "My quest is to find authentic human stories. I feel like reality is a lot stranger than we think it could ever be. When I photograph people I ask them a lot of questions and they tell stories that can't be made up - that's what keeps me going."

    When it came to choosing his subjects, no one was out of the question. There were demoralizing times when he would receive 10 or 20 polite declines in a row, but he kept pushing to find the next subject.

    "Today people have so many publicists and handlers," he lamented, "as the years go by, people become more and more guarded." Those who agreed to be in the book were doing so on their own volition, volunteering their time and day to Cohen and he was able to talk to his subjects at length.

    Cohen concludes, "The more you read the book, I hope you realize that everyone has their own goals and dreams; and that whatever direction you choose it is completely within your grasp. There's so many choices that we can make in our life."

    Please join us for the artist reception and book signing for Stewart Cohen: Identity, A photographic meditation from the inside out

    PDNB gallery
    Opening Reception: Thursday, April 8, 2010. 6-9pm
    Exhibition: April 8 - 14th, 2010


    Preview the book at Dream Editions Press
    Learn more at Stewart Cohen's blog
    View Stewart Cohen's portfolio

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