Cohen has been making photographs since 1954. His photographic
outlook was formed before there were photography galleries.
At that time the only work for a photographer was in photo
journalism or in advertising, and neither was what he wanted
to do. Instead he made his own personal photographs, as well
as documenting things which were important to him: mostly
the artists and musicians. His photographic inquiries lead
him to the Andes and to Appalachia, where he photographed
traditional musicians in their own home settings. His photographs
found use on record covers, and served as preliminary trial
runs for his later film projects.
early Peru work was recognized in a one-person show at the
Limelight Gallery (1957) which was then the only photo gallery
in New York. His early images are valued as vintage prints,
and have been shown widely. In recent years his photographs
have been acquired by museums and private collectors. His
photographs of traditional musicians, the Beat Generation
poets, and his portraits of Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters and others
have been seen increasingly in films and television productions.
1997, he shared a photographic exhibition "Keeping Time:
Photographs of Musicians" at the Corcoran Gallery of
Art in Washington, D.C. His photographs have been displayed
in at the Brooklyn Museum, The Photo Eye Gallery in Santa
Fe, NM, and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
started the photography program at Purchase College SUNY in
1972, served as area head, and hired faculty including Jed
Devine, Jan Groover, and others. He taught photography classes
for twenty-five years, and then retired from academia so he
could devote more time to "practice what he preached."
2000, fifteen of his Peru photographs were on display at the
Open Society Institute in NYC, and in 2001 his work was represented
in the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition "Ten Years
of Collecting: Recent Acquisitions." In January, 2002
a large show of his photographs from There Is No Eye
will open at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, and
travel to other venues. Another exhibition of his work will
be presented at the Thomas Zander gallery in Cologne, Germany
in early 2002.
In January 2002, a large show of his photographs from "There Is No Eye" opened at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, and traveled to eleven museum venues nationwide. Other exhibitions of his work were presented at the Thomas Zander gallery in Cologne, Germany, Stephan Daiter Gallery, Chicago 2003, Phototroph Gallery, Colorado Springs , Croton Free Library, NY, Deborah Bell Gallery, NYC, IceBox gallery, Minneapolis, Woody Guthrie Center, OK, L. Parker Stephenson Gallery, NYC