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Next Life Series, 2020-2021

Joana Kohen’s series of new paintings shifts between attachment and alienation. The drawings, acrylics on paper made by the artist, depict faceless, gender-switching figures, floating in blank, opaque spaces, often in the presence of plant-like SCI-FI creatures. In a second set of works on textile, Kohen drifts even further away from human features and surrounds her figures with completely abstracted objects.

The uncanny sensation these works stimulate is difficult to ignore. The enigmatic figures seem at once both intimidating and harmless; both dangerous and in-danger. Kohen’s works examine human estrangement as well as our fascination with the things that frighten us. It is with these anonymous, hybrid figures that she enters a realm that is between the ancient and the futuristic, where her dialectic web of associations is driven by desires and fears. Kohen examines her body similarly: the primordial, reproductive function of her body is reexamined and subverted by its destructive potential, allowing carnivorous plants and reproductive organs to become interchangeable. This ambivalence is portrayed in the fragility of the works, all seem to be eternally in process of becoming, never resilient enough to be completely finished. Kohen’s manipulations hold them intact; the artist subtly handles the works, as if layering emotional reactions upon the fabric and paper.

Prometheus, 85x125cm, Acrylic on Handmade Japanese Washi Paper
Prometheus, Acrylic on handmade Japanese Washi paper, 85×125 cm, Photo: Begum Yetis
Hybrid, 85x116cm, Acrylic on Handmade Japanese Washi Paper
Hybrid, Acrylic on handmade Japanese Washi paper, 85×116 cm, Photo: Begum Yetis
Triffid, 107x136cm, Acrylic on Handmade Japanese Washi Paper
Triffid, Acrylic on handmade Japanese Washi paper, 107×136 cm, Photo: Begum Yetis
Copulation, 107x136cm, Acrylic on Handmade Japanese Washi Paper
Copulation, Acrylic on handmade Japanese Washi paper, 107×136 cm, Photo: Begum Yetis
PRE-_-HYB-I.-85-X-135-CM-
PRE: HYB I., Acrylic on handmade Japanese Washi paper, 83×135 cm, Photo: Begum Yetis
PRE _ HYB II. 83 X 135 CMj
PRE: HYB II, Acrylic on handmade Japanese Washi paper, 83×135 cm, Photo: Begum Yetis
United #1, 85x180cm, Acrylic on Handmade Japanese Washi Paper
United #1, Acrylic on handmade Japanese Washi paper, 85×180 cm, Photo: Begum Yetis
United #2, 85x180cm, Acrylic on Handmade Japanese Washi Paper
United #2, Acrylic on handmade Japanese Washi paper, 85×180 cm, Photo: Begum Yetis
Root I, Acrylic on handmade Japanese Washi paper, 100×106 cm, Photo: Begum Yetis
Root II, Acrylic on handmade Japanese Washi paper, 100×120 cm, Photo: Begum Yetis

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