Art Teacher Sean Scully

by on August 13, 2014

I have so much gratitude for the many wonderful teachers I’ve had in my life. While studying painting at Parson’s I was really lucky to have had Sean Scully as a teacher. Scully, an Irish-born American-based painter and print-maker has twice been named a Turner Prize nominee and his work is collected in major museums worldwide. Yesterday before I started painting I found myself searching you tube for some videos, perhaps a great artist lecture or interview and there it was, this awesome film on Scully that I’m sharing below here. Seriously if have the time this is inspiring to say the least, watch all the way to the end!  I loved also how they filmed him teaching, so cool to see he was still teaching, seeing him in a classroom speaking to his students just totally reminded me of how his way of teaching was just so his own and special, always the great story teller he was~ Below is a picture of me in front of one of his paintings at the Metroploitan Musuem of Art. When I was his student and first saw his work when he took us to his studio I was too young to really fully understand it, it wasn’t till a couple years later during my Met visits and standing in front of his work that I started to totally understand and really feel them and then I couldn’t get enough of them. His level of commitment to pure abstraction: to its emotional power, its storytelling potential, and, above all, its capacity to convey light is so inspirational. He is looking for how to capture the sensation of light, space and movement in geometric rhythm. This is the reason why Scully’s rectangular structures are not decorative. What we find is an explicit analysis of shape and feeling.

“I do believe abstraction is and was meant to embody deep emotion. I believe that’s its job, in the history of art.”
- Sean Scully

micci-cohan-metropolitan-museum-of-art NY


The film below presents one of the most fascinating and popular abstract painters of our times. The process of painting is accompanied by Scully’s biographical tales and reflections when he talks about the complicated relationship with his parents, the disaster that was his childhood and his past as a member of an Irish street gang in London. And about his overwhelming ambition to become an artist and his troublesome path to recognition and success. Alongside the artist’s own reflections on his past we accompany him to the opening of a major retrospective in Barcelona and see him as a teacher with his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. With rare openness, Scullytells about his trauma and backlashes as well as about the exciting creative process and the closeness to failure. It is the portrait of a man who, against all obstacles, has followed his own artistic creed: “Art comes from need”.

Love these two interviews!

>INTERVIEW WITH SEAN SCULLY by Jörg Zutter from NGA / National Gallery of Australia website


Micci Cohan Contemporary art blog ny



I though the ending of this film was beautifully & brilliant with him holding his son to U2′s , The ‘Moment of Surrender’ song!


Hi folks! God it’s August 10th already! the summer is flying by and with that thought I realize how I have been neglecting blogging oops! The summer has been awesome in so many ways and one of the best things I have to say is the health benefits of living next to the beach! Sorry here I go again but I do not miss NYC air!  Even when I’m working inside there’s always a breeze and amazing light coming in. The bike riding everywhere, oh yeah digging that mucho! OK, so besides turning into a hippie and loving the wind blowing through my locks I would like to share I have re-opened my Fine Art Store on etsy finally and shooting off with a Summer Studio Sale. There are some selected originals on paper like this one below for a great price ~originally priced at $200. now $75.00. Your chance to get an original for more then half off, check it out, sale only lasts until August 20th. Oh yeah and some more album art for salt Cathedral. Hope your summer’s going great!

Micci Cohan Fine Art Store / Etsy

Studio Sale~The Spying Game ~ Original Mixed Media Collage on Paper – 11 x 14 inches -Free Shipping U.S.

Micci Cohan Fine Art Store Etsy

Studio Sale ~Cap Off Girl ~ Original Collage Book Page ~ 9 x 12 – Free Shipping U.S.


Album Art Micci Cohan Salt Cathedral Band

OOM VELT ~ Album Art for Salt Cathedral / 2014

Egon Schiele, letter to his uncle Leopold Czihaczek


Patti Smith’s advice to artists: we’re pioneers in a new time


“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.”

These are the words of rock legend and National-Book-Award winner Patti Smith The advice is reminiscent Madame Bovary author Gustave Flaubert: “Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.”

In 2012 Smith shared more creative advice while speaking to a large crowd at the 2012 Louisiana Literature Festival at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, with its incredible panoramic view across the Øresund.

“What matters is to know what you want and pursue it,” says Smith. She urges us to recognize that suffering is part of the package for everyone. “Life is going to be difficult.” Ride with it, she urges. Nothing is perfect. There will be “perfect moments and rough spots.”

We’re pioneers in a new time, she argues. ”Everyone has access that they’ve never had before.” It’s a ”pioneering time because it is a time of the people….Technology has democratized self-expression.  People have more power than ever.” But as Smith explains, we are still trying to figure out how to use technology, and this stage is like “a painful adolescence.” read more..

Kiki Smith

Luv this Sculpture by Kiki Smith


Tal R  >->>

Born 1967 Tel Aviv, Israel /Lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark

Tal Rosenzweig, who is better known under his pseudonym Tal R, was born in Tel Aviv in 1967 and lives and works in Copenhagen. In 2005, he started teaching a master class in painting at the Düsseldorf academy. Tal R is an artist who collects, collages and playfully mixes styles and contexts into a very idiosyncratic and complex pictorial language which has gained him international recognition. His artistic repertoire includes painting, drawing and sculpture, collage and assemblages, as well as film, textile art, fashion design and artist’s books. Inspiration sources include elements of music, comic-strips aesthetics, television and the graphic design of old video games.

’I do painting a bit like people make a lunch box,’ Tal R explains, ’I constantly have this hot-pot boiling and I throw all kinds of material into it.’ ’Kolbojnik’, the Hebrew word for leftovers, is more than appropriate to describe his home-baked painting style: imaginary pastoral scenes based on his everyday life, rendered in guttural faux abstraction, canvases often literally collaged together like a visual goulash. Sisters of Kolbojnik, depicting an earthy gang of shaggy-haired, bell-bottomed nymphs in a magic-mushroom forest, is a celebration of overlooked wall-flower beauty, as socially inclusive as a community mural.















 Tal R has long been one of my all time favorite artist! Here’s a short interview I wanted to share below~

Tal R makes paintings, drawings, and sculptures, working with unique materials like rabbit-skin glue to create images that are both recognizable and unnerving. Scott Indrisek visited him in his Copenhagen studio to eat strawberries and discuss destruction.

Scott Indrisek: Do you have your own paintings on the walls at your house?

 Tal RNever. My house is full of objects. My work always arises from the private, but it goes through this carnival of other images, objects that I have around. Let’s say there is a certain thing you experience in your life. It’s not really productive in images. You need something in between. You need doormen. You need this distance so that it can be an image for other people. Otherwise it’s just therapy.

You’ve said that one should be able to explain a painting over the telephone.

It’s a rule, but then I also ask for trouble. Every artwork should have a certain “hand” that reaches out for the audience, but the physical experience is completely beyond what you can explain on the phone. You can almost explain Donald Judd or Bruce Nauman over the phone. But when you see the pieces, they work on you in a different way. I want there to be normal things in my paintings that everybody can pick up, but when you stand in front of them you get insecure about what you’re watching. It’s like getting the viewer to the dance floor with a very cheesy pop song. If you ask people, they won’t admit that they like the song, but when they hear it, they move. Or like when you put french fries on the table. People will say, “No, I don’t like french fries.” But then everybody’s picking at the french fries. That’s how the painting should work.

Can you describe the character of the Shlomo, who is the focus of your show at Cheim & Read?

He’s a bit of an orientalist. A dreamer. Shlomo is the name of an uncle I never knew. So he’s perfect to project romantic things onto. He’s a wanderer. In the next few years he will walk around in different forms: falling asleep, taking a nap in different paintings, disappearing into elevators, going into doors he shouldn’t go through. You try to create paintings where the viewer can wander around; now the Shlomo actually takes the position of the viewer. He’s going to get lost on our behalf. Shlomo’s always the secondary character. If you have a film, there’s Brad Pitt and then there’s the friend who is actually just taking care of the garden. And we don’t follow his destiny, we follow Brad Pitt’s destiny. But it’s the gardener that’s the most interesting.

Is there a narrative in your mind, a progression of where he’ll go?

There is a clear progression to the images I pick up, but it is beyond my language. You invent something and afterward you talk about it. I think artists should watch out; they should admit that their work will always be faster than language. And I think art should be beyond language—otherwise go and write a story, go and be a poet.

What about some of your other works that are more abstract?

Those paintings are just small details, ornaments, fractions. They are so broken down that they start to create another language. But these kinds of paintings come from something very concrete. I went on a boat with my friend, the artist Daniel Richter, to a very remote part of Greenland. For three weeks we were just drawing every day. Clouds, mountains, and sea. So I did this whole group of drawings in Greenland and I took them back to the studio and I started working with them, just paint on paper. You pull out stuff. You take it one step away from the drawing you made in front of the sea and the mountains and the clouds. And what now looks like a weird line is actually a detail of clouds, mountains, and the reflection of the sea. You pull it through a system, and then at the end something beautiful happens: It’s completely not connected anymore to Greenland. It’s just in itself; it’s close to not even being art. It’s just a very simple gesture and then it’s gone.

You’re moving constantly between different media.

With some works, you don’t start at a point where you know that they will be successful, that they will really rise up and be a grand sculpture—you start from a place where they really look like shit. You want to do a certain sculpture or figure, and while you’re doing it you get red cheeks because you know this is a grand failure. But pay close attention to that moment, because although something is failing, great possibilities are right around the corner. Also, in an artist’s production there are works that you can only understand because of something else the artist did. Not all of the works are main works. Some of the works are what the artist did to go from A to C.

I think my way into painting came from missteps. For many years: having a great idea, disappointment, destroying it. The only thing that happened to me was that I got a little tired, so I started destroying slowly, and a lot of my painting style arose from this destroying slowly.

What do you mean?

I mean when you do a painting and it’s awful and you want to step on it. After some years of this circle of disappointment, you’re tired, so you take the painting and just put dots on it. A very slow, aggressive way of destroying it. But then something happens: The painting looks back and says, “Maybe I am possible.”

What other painters do you feel an affinity with?

There are certain painters over the years that I continue liking. I just went to Paris and saw Georges Rouault again, who painted clowns and also nuns, priests, Jesus. But at the moment I’m more into these painters who are trying to develop narrative spaces: Bonnard,Balthus, Vallotton. That’s really heavy weight for a painter, to try and do a space where you can maneuver, to try and do faces, figures. I want to make concrete rooms where the experience is absolutely abstract.

Your studio looks like a domestic space, like a living room.

If you’re here for long periods, it’s nice to be able to fall asleep. Before, I used to lie on the floor among the works, stand up and continue. There was this elegant warp between walking and sleeping, working and walking and sleeping. So I have two beds here now and I’m building a third. To find routes, to find new paths into the work, you have to be around them a lot. You want to really, at the end of the day, surprise yourself, because what surprises you will surprise the viewer. Unpredictable moves on the dance floor.



mc nyc

   >>My mind lately is all tropical! Colors everywhere, both intense and subdued pastels are permeating my mind and inspiring my creations for sure. The shells, the drift wood, the sea glass, the plants and flowers I pick on the beach, they’re all being collected, loved and used in some way or other.

I find living by the ocean I need even more discipline because of knowing whats out there especially coming from being a city girl forever, it’s challenging to say the least! Of course though, I take mini breaks from work time to rest my hands and mind, sneaking out as much as I can to unwind and stretch. It’s been a busy and awesome month both business & pleasure wise and I feel so blessed to be right at the place I am right now in my life.  I’ve been designing loads of colorful and exciting new pieces for the Shop including anklets, and more bracelets and earrings and within the next couple of weeks will be adding them.


And this exciting news just in to share::::::::>>>>>>>>>

 Twig a Southern California Store is now also carrying my pieces as well as the coolest Surf Shop, Moku, here in Long Beach.


 Below are some of the pieces available at MOKU & TWIG

micci cohan nyc jewelry _ boho chic beaded long dagle earrings 2014

Micci Cohan Skull Buddha bracelet etsy

Micci Cohan NYC gold skull beaded tassel ethnic boho necklace

small mcnyc

micci cohan bohemian ethnic bracelet set etsy

and two of my new latest necklaces>>




 <<<<Visit shop>>>>


Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ face sunscreen review

Ok guys want to know the best sunscreen I just discovered!  Love this product my friend gave me some to sample and it’s perfect for me since I have sensitive skin and just found out how many chemicals were in my old Alba sunscreen.  It is a bit pricey but lasts a long time and well worth it with all it’s great benefits. You can buy it online here: Vitacost or check out your local health store. DEVITA SOLAR BODY BLOCK Get protection by an effective body moisturizer and sun screen all in one! 100% natural, absorbs quickly and is never oily or greasy. Offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection utilizing pure micronized zinc oxide. Titanium Dioxide Free. This is a gentle, soothing physical sun screen that is skin-friendly. Also suitable for sensitive skin. Contains the Devita’s signature Sun Damage Repair system. this strengthening formula helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps prevent signs of premature aging with skin-defending vitamins. Penetrates deep into your skin giving it back the look and feel of its elasticity after just a few applications. Revitalizes, softens and moisturizes skin leaving it with a satin sheen.


long beach shark 2014 micci cohan

Have to say not too excited I keep running into these guys!

micci cohan contemporary artist nyc




JUST Show Up

by on May 9, 2014


Micci Cohan


Hi Folks! Wow! it’s been a haul but I’ve been slowly getting back to being able to focus on the art as my life gets a bit less complicated. Yesterday I again had another break through while painting, I felt that sacred high I had long been struggling to feel again. I found myself totally letting go and trusting again. I now just have to be more disciplined and not spend so much time thinking about what to paint and just PAINT! and everyday for that matter and that’s how I will re-build my personal language back up again. I have to share that for so long I was aware of just how much outer influence was effecting my art, I’m talking about the internet! and I’m learning to tweak my time spent seeing hundred of images/art online so that my imagination can have a clearer passage way and not a traffic jam of image on top of image. Hope to soon share lots of new work!

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Patti Smith: Advice to the Young.


Sun Child Warrior © Micci Cohan 2010

jackson pollock

Creative work can be a refuge from life. Sometimes we fall into the trap of seeing our creative work as one more nagging responsibility. While our art is a part of our life, it can be an escape from it as well. When we immerse ourselves into our art/writing/music we can leave the world behind. We can let go of our current circumstances and be swept away by our imagination.

In that moment of creation, we are allowed to forget what is, and dream of what could be.

People sometimes forget that before she was a successful author, J.K. Rowling was a divorced and severely depressed single mother who was living on welfare and trying to raise a child on her own while still attending school. All the while she continued to write this children’s book about a boy wizard that no one else seemed interested in reading at the time.

But she wrote it anyway.

Not just because she had a story to tell, but also because it gave her a temporary escape from her current situation. Her writing became a type of refuge for her during some of those quiet lonely hours.

Just showing up is a small victory

Most of us don’t have the luxury of sitting around and waiting for our life to turn around.

We can’t wait until things slow down or we have more time and money, we just have to get to work.

Stephen King wrote his first novel sitting alone in his basement late at night after grading papers, teaching classes, and putting his kids to bed. He didn’t have the luxury of quitting his job or waiting for the ideal situation to write — he simply did what he could with the time he had.

In fact, just showing up is half 80% of the battle

Woody Allen once said that “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” It’s not always about talent, sometimes it’s more about showing up and putting in the work while the rest of the world is busy making excuses. So maybe the moral of the story here is to show up and do something.

Do whatever you can to sit down and do your creative work, even if it’s only for 15-30 minutes a day.

Just find a way to get started and then keep the creative momentum going by showing up day after day. It doesn’t matter if you do it at night after work or after you put the kids to bed, or if you wake up 30 minutes earlier each morning. Just show up and make your creative time a priority.

Micci Cohan contemporary fine artist nyc

Moving again so I’m having GREAT DEALS on the paintings I have up in store at the moment.


So into this>>>>10 Best Plants to Grow Indoors for Air Purification!


I’ve always known about eucalyptus and spider plants for the studio to help suck up the fumes in the painting studio from oil paint especially,

here’s more plants that also do the job.


I’m infatuated with this photo!

Micci Cohan NYC etsy boho gypsy bracelets

Lots of new beauties dropping into store lately!


New Orleans-based Artist Heather Hansen- “Emptying Gestures is an experiment in kinetic drawing. In this series, I am searching for ways to download my movement directly onto paper, emptying gestures from one form to another and creating something new in the process.” 

Heather Hansen, a contemporary performance artist and dancer in New Orleans, has come up with an elegant and creative way to capture her dancing motions on paper – she gets up-close and personal with a big piece of paper and some charcoal.

For the performance aspect of her work, Hansen invites observers to watch her dance on a huge piece of paper. As she dances and prostates herself on the piece of paper, she marks it with charcoal, gradually building a beautiful diagram of her seemingly ritual dance. She has also created a video called “Emptied Gestures” that features studio recordings of her graceful and dramatic work for those that cannot see it live.

Hansen says of her work; Emptying Gestures is an experiment in kinetic drawing. In this series, I am searching for ways to download my movement directly onto paper, emptying gestures from one form to another and creating something new in the process”


Check out this collaboration between my amazing talented Niece, Tara Clune and I!



Sasha Pivovarova