Born in Cairo and raised in Paris and Montreal, Yvette Cohen is an extremely-talented visual artist with a special bond with Italy. That’s why she has chosen ItalianGoodNews to tell something about her strong relationship with Italian landscapes and to explain the origin of her artistic inspiration
Q: Can you remember your first time in Italy?
Since about 1988 I’ve been coming to Italy with my husband Andrea Fiano for our summer vacations. Part of the time we’d go to Forte dei Marmi with family. While everyone took their afternoon siesta in Forte, I would take my bike to search for spots to draw and paint in the surrounding nature and mountains. Then for a week or two we’d go to a variety of places.
Q: Have you a favourite Italian place?
A: Volterra left me breathless, so when I retuned to New York, I did a painting with tons of abstract marks that represented the landscape. Favignana Mosaic was my response to the multitude of textures of this old gorgeous island. Motzia, an island off the coast of Sicily, full of archeological digs, inspired me to reconsider my obsession with stones.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: My drawings are lots of graphite marks on paper. Although my paintings look very different, the drawings and paintings are inspired by the same open spaces of the Italian landscape. The drive from Pitigliano to Sienna still gives me a feeling of the monumentality of the world, with its infinite air and the density of time past, tinged with the exuberance of life and excitement of the unknown. My paintings of shaped canvases, with two or more pieces working together on a single wall, are my way of recreating this grand feeling.
Yvette Cohen was born in Cairo, Egypt and raised in Paris and Montreal. She received a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal. After moving to New York she continued her education attending classes at the Art Student’s League, the School of Visual Arts and the Whitney seminars. For a year she worked in lithography at the Bob Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. In 1983 she established Plum Graphics Inc., a greeting card company, recognized for its unique images and products. There she received several nominations and a Louie award for her work. In 2004 she returned to the studio to pursue her fine art full time. She lives and works in New York City.
To know more about Yvette Cohen and her artworks: yvettecohen.com