Sylvia Cohen

My goal is to create paintings that are simply striking and intriguing, finding inspiration in my roots of fashion design and illustration. I find myself drawn to images of women that are edgy and strong. Collecting images from editorials as inspiration, I work in a semi/realistic manner depicting portraits of women.

When I begin to work I am no longer concerned about the beauty of the image but instead how it speaks to me. My focus changes entirely as I consider a history of experiences and emotions, love, hurt, anguish and joy come into play. There is so much more behind a person’s appearance. Through the cult of beauty in contemporary mass media I am investigating the psychological complexity of modern women.

The women I paints are subtle yet strong, bold yet delicate; balancing these contradictions provide individuality to each piece.

I think of these works as character studies rather than portraits.

I paint faces to capture the emotion that drives them.  Playing on the expression of the character, the color choices and the addition of abstract elements, that gives works a unique energy.  The paintings are a zoom on a strong feeling, faces larger than life.  Detailed, the paintings envelope the viewer and is as an invitation to a journey.

Combining line drawings with splashes of color, my work uses portraiture as a starting point. The image is allowed to develop through the process of applying paint, gestural brush stokes and the heightened use of color add emotion and expressive dynamic to the work.

I enjoy the combination of the precise pencil and the unpredictability of ink and watercolors, but I love experimenting with different kinds of mediums like acrylics, collage and mixed media to evolve within my style.

I have recently added digital tools, using a tablet and several painting and drawing applications, exploring the possibilities of this new medium to deliver my message.