Karen Dana Cohen is an exhibiting artist with Jess Levey.
Artists Statement on Reciprocity
Forced into quarantine with our partners and our children, as the Pandemic took over our lives, the domestic landscape became more contemplative and at the same time suffocating. Every corner was efficiently transformed to fill a purpose. We re-connected during the Pandemic when Jess asked Karen to participate in a new video piece for which she was interviewing mothers about their experience in quarantine with their families. This act of social-emotional reciprocity, quickly transitioned to discussions about our art practice, about how we can find ways to support each other more consistently, about what we needed right now to feel grounded in life and through our art process. We were both exploring themes of domesticity- Jess was exploring the changing sound landscape while Karen was discovering the changing visual landscape of her home. They were both finding ways to control what they could through mundane domestic tasks that quickly took on a more therapeutic role.
Karen Dana Cohen was born in 1982 in Mexico City and lives and works in Chicago, IL. She received a BFA from The National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City (2005) and earned her MFA degree at Hunter College, New York (2011), where she based her art studio up until 2017.
By experiencing her own family from abroad and beginning to grow into a family of her own she began exploring her painting practice as a more process-based research. The paintings of her recent work are often part of a specific arrangement based in gestures that she discovered inherited from women in her past as a mandate of femininity. The paintings offer an intimate narrative of the role immigrant women need to reinvent their whole self in order to survive, while at the same time defend their own identity through generations.
She is currently a BOLT artist in residence at Chicago Artists Coalition. She has participated in national and international exhibitions in Mexico, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, California, and has been awarded several honors including the Chicago Artists Coalition’s BOLT and Field/Work Residencies, FONCA Young Creators Grant, Honorable Mention at the XVI Mexican Painting Biennial, XVI Bienal de Pintura Rufino Tamayo, INBA, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo; MACO Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Mexico. Honors at the XV National Biennale of Painting from Rufino Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum in México and Oaxaca. She currently leads an International critique group of artist mothers.
© Karen Dana Cohen