It was a balmy December evening in Miami when I attended the 2018 Spectrum Art Fair during the much lauded ArtBasel weekend. After being quite impressed with the variety, the breadth and depth of what the show had to offer, I came across this incredible artist. There was something cerebral that jumped from her canvas, grabbed hold of your pulse and quickened it as if you were about to downhill slalom in the olympic finals. There wasn’t that “what could it be” sense of wonder. You just knew it. It just connected with you and resonated in your subconscious immediately. This was my experience anyway. Paddy’s work emotes the viewer's imagination, sense of place, and emotion all at the same time. Beyond her incredible work, she is one of the most centered artists I’ve ever met. She maintains that innocence that begets the most humble of artist, without being exhaustively apologetic or stylishly coy.
It has been a long time coming but I’ve finally had the opportunity to publish the interview with her that I’ve been looking forward to since that encounter. Hopefully you’ll see through the words and the images below just what I’m talking about, even though you HAVE to experience her work IN PERSON every chance you get. The scale alone will blow you away.
Thank you for opening up your studio to our audience Paddy...We will link up sooner than later to catch up on everything you’ve been up to already in 2020. Everyone stay safe and get ready for the reboot coming soon!!
Without further adieu, Ladies and Gentlemen, Paddy Cohn!
Hi Paddy, as we approach 2020, tell us how 2019 treated you.
2019 was the most transformational year I’ve had in my career. I’ve been experimenting with different textures and materials in a more physical and conceptual dimension. I’ve had incredible response to my new pieces called Rustic Series. This past year has been very exciting, I’ve had the opportunity to exhibit in many shows around the country, equally important I’ve met wonderful people in the art world.
Excellent, tell us more...
Last Spring I exhibited in ART EXPO NY and from the contacts I made there I secured a permanent exhibit in the Hamptons this past summer. July was a busy time, I exhibited in ART MARKET AND DESIGN, Hamptons NY and REVEAL in Saratoga Springs NY. In September I created a vibrant series of paintings called Harmonious Balance with a 3-dimensional flair. These have been a huge hit. I moved on to exhibit in the SOFA Show in Chicago and I am proud to say I also became member of ARTISTS OF ST BARTH’S which showed in NYC in September. I will be exhibiting my work this winter in St Barthelemy FWI. where my grandfather was born. I am now in the process of getting ready to show in this year’s ART BASEL.
Any life-changing events?
Recently I found out my mom has cancer. This has refocused my creativity to another place. Seeing with sensitivity and feeling is important and having the courage to get outside of my comfort zone is how I create meaningful and powerful pieces.
Any happenings in your world that influenced your creative style in any way? Talk about some of your highs and lows this year.
My highs have been tempered by the condition of my Mother. Art has a way of reaching deep inside our souls and connect us to our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, with outer realities and with our own experiences. Having such a deep understanding I have expressed myself in a more spiritual way.
As a general rule, I like to explore these themes with artists who are actively creating and allow other artists to learn from them. Often we feel as though we may be experiencing something incredibly unique and wonder how that impacts our art, maybe even so far as to question if we should even bother continuing to create. We know that the notion of quitting is craft-suicide, and an action executed often by those who were never true creative talents to begin with, as those artists who embrace total creativity throughout their life, almost can’t help but to create at some level.
The highs are creating meaningful work out of the lows
I have been working on a series based on the x-ray scans of my mom. This will be a story of her journey through her illness and I will be taking that journey with her. By using her x-ray images in my art it will allow me to feel connected and show my emotions that are often difficult to show in words.
Now, as far as new work, I want to learn more about what influenced the Rustic Series, what were your inspirations? What are your aspirations for the series?
I am constantly taking notes of what I see in nature. I am drawn to old and distressed objects and surfaces because they have a history and a story to tell. I’m using organic materials in a 3 dimensional way with intent to evoke emotion. “there is an invisible realm where things merge and essences reveal themselves. I call that Emergence Beauty.”
Is the Rustic series born from a greater collection of work, any influences from which you’d like to clue us in to?
I have a passion for layers and distressed materials including the forgotten elements of nature, from sand, mica to driftwood all inspired by the landscapes of Caribbean
As we approach the Holiday season, most importantly the dawn of a new year, 2020, what are your aspirations for the coming year? Are you a long term goal setter? Have you identified any opportunities you’d like to explore in the coming months?
I always challenge myself to a new level always breaking the boundaries because there is no rules in art. I love what I do and can’t wait to see what happens in 2020. I always leave myself open for the unexpected which always works out to be a good thing.
Thank you for taking the time to catch up with us. I look forward to sitting down in the near future and participating in a much more in-depth exploration of your story. But for now, let us know how we can keep in touch with your latest and greatest?
You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook and my website
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