Eileen Cohen received her MFA in Ceramics from Indiana University in Bloomington and her BFA in Ceramics from the University of Delaware in Newark. Cohen's nationally exhibited sculptures represent her love of animals and her admiration of alternative surface treatments. Following a residency at Mendocino Art Center in California, she moved to Minnesota where she was a 2005 McKnight Resident Artist at the Northern Clay Center. She now lives in Saint Paul and works as an arts educator and exhibitions coordinator at Silverwood Park, part of the Three Rivers Park District and is a teaching artist at the Northern Clay Center.
The work shown in the accompanying images is inspired by animal form and the relationships between humans and animals. I am disturbed by the mistreatment of animals: how humans exploit animals as objects for our enjoyment, entertainment, and consumption. Through my ceramic work, I am exploring my own role in this complex relationship.
Reduced to minimal forms, my sculptures enable me to explore surface, proportion, and color. By morphing shape, removing parts from a whole, skewing proportion, and saturating color, I create work that captures animal form. Often emphasizing an element of humor in the work, I make the work accessible to the viewer by breaking down formality. In the end, I want to create sculptures that are richly tactile, creating a desire to touch.
I look at animals from many perspectives. I find inspiration in fishing lures, decoys, taxidermy animals and catalogues, cuts of meat, horses, saddles, bones, animal souvenirs, holiday mascots, and even pets.