“His intrusive style pays off as his images are seemingly natural, a true snapshot of a moment; an elderly woman in a headscarf smoking a cigarette, a young girl walking, self-conscious and deep in thought. The vulnerability and intimacy of these subjects are due to his ability to crop by getting in close, a behaviour that would intermittently get Cohen in trouble”.
Cohen started taking photographs when he was 12 years old. After later owning his first Leica and looking at the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson he came to the conclusion that for him he could get what he wanted not from travelling the globe like Cartier-Bresson but in the vicinity of his own industrial backyard – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Characteristically he photographs uncomfortably even audaciously close to his subject with a wide-angle lens and a flash gun focusing on the details of his subjects.
“A lot of times I had trouble with the cops, because if you walk into somebody’s yard and start taking pictures of a rope that’s sitting there, they’ll call the police.”
The exhibition ‘Just Outside’ is quintessential Cohen – the black & white and colour images are from his hometown and hone in on intimate moments between a group of kids or slices of faces up close and personal, weird and wonderful angles are achieved through his nimble balletic moves and quick-as-a-flash snapping. For the first time his black & white images from this show are available to acquire as larger prints.