Standing with a plastic red cup in hand, a furry winter hat and a shirt adorned with a flock of flamingos, Alex Cohen is hard to miss. The 22-year-old student at the Art Institute was the embodiment of everything that last week’s “Short Court: Tropical Aesthletics” stood for – funky art, indoor summer sports and sand galore even as a blizzard raged on outside Antena Gallery.
Cohen, whose friend Chris helped to curate the event, was invited to take part in the show, which displayed work by some of the city’s young and up-and-coming artists. Inspired by ancient totem poles, Cohen’s work was in keeping with the show’s tropical theme and result was an impressive life-sized cardboard installation that instantly dominated the room.
The Pilsen Project caught up with Cohen to talk art and the inspiration behind his work.
Where did you get the idea for the piece?
I was thinking tropical and I was also thinking about totem poles stacked on top of each other so that was the tropical lure.
What art do you interested in?
All the different types: figurative, non-representational, just everything really.
What’s your favorite medium?
I like to use acrylics, any water-based mediums and ceramics.
What was it like to create the piece?
It was a lot of fun. I went to the Field Museum to look at their totem pole and I drew inspiration from that.