October 29, 2021: Vincenzo Cohen Interview
Vincenzo Cohen is an Italian painter and photographer with a classical background who graduated in Fine Arts and Archeology. In September 2021 he participated in the Venice Biennale.
Tell us a bit about yourself...
I was born in Zurich, Switzerland and grew up in Calabria, since my parents were emigrants. I currently live in Rome, Italy. I have never become an artist - I think I have always been one; I remember that on the first grade report card it was written: "the student shows a marked tendency for drawing."
What themes or ideas do you pursue in your work?
My artistic practice is the result of long research work. I try to represent what I have learned from life, what gives me emotion, but above all, I try to provide a social message through my work to raise public awareness through an impactful artistic message; a message directed towards the fight against social inequalities, against prejudice and for the environmental and animal protection.
It's always hard to talk about yourself, especially when you have painful experiences behind you. I'm trying to make my way into the complex world of art. Nowadays, there is a lot of competition, and it is difficult to emerge because art has become too broad a concept. In this new age, the way of appearing seems to be more important than the way of being. But there's still someone who has something to say.
In the past, I abandoned painting for many years because of people who demotivated me, which took away my enthusiasm for creating. Someone tried to break my dreams, perhaps because they never had one or simply because I was different, introverted, and shy. Then my passion was stronger than disappointment, and finally, it won. If you don't believe in something, sooner or later, someone will underestimate you, but you have to arm yourself with perseverance, strength of character and to scream against the world: "I am here, and I have still a message to leave."
Behind my work, there is much devotion, great dedication, but also suffering. In life, I have had to face difficult challenges such as the experience of the death of affections and disease. There are secrets I've never told anyone about, and I think they'll die with me. Through my painting, I retrace the stages of my life; it is like a therapeutic process, and it helps me to better understand myself and why I realized certain things. I am pleased to have done so because I am a more conscious artist and a stronger man today.
Do you actively search for inspiration or wait for inspiration to find you?
I always wait for inspiration to find me. Sometimes it happens unexpectedly, for example, at night.
What's the most peculiar thing/situation that sparked your inspiration?
Find me at night in the wilderness and in the uncontaminated nature. Feeling the ancestral call of nature, feeling a sense of deep peace, a sort ofreconciliation with mother-earth.
Tell us about the future: plans, dreams, anything you'd like to share with the world.
In the future, I hope to realize all my projects. I hope, above all, to reach others through the media of art, through the communication beyond the visible, to continue to visit the world, to learn something from others and from the other cultures. I hope that my commitment and artistic passion will lead me to have visibility and to be publicly recognized for what nature has given me. In Italy today, meritocracy no longer exists. The prevarication of power is a constant in the life of an artist, and today as in the past, it dominates the weakest, the most sensitive and defenceless. I want my art to be a warning to those like me who fight every day to affirm their own value.
Vincenzo's newly released art catalogue is available for viewing and for purchase.
Website: www.vincenzocohen.com Instagram: @vincenzocohen