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What is Special About the Amazing Art of
John Neville Cohen?

PLEASE NOTE: This is written (to provide information and suggestions for a Press Release) in the third person, because I have compiled it from a number of previously published sources, so everything on this page has been written, or said, by someone else, but I did not want to include even more quotations, than I have already. 

John Neville Cohen is really an artist who uses photography.  Photographer’s record reality and the best do that really well, but John creates amazing fantasy from reality!  His beautiful pictures surprise, intrigue and make quite a statement!

"One of the essential differences between the artist and the photographer is that the artist always starts with a blank canvas, whereas the photographer's canvas 'the viewfinder', or screen, is always full!"  John Neville Cohen

There are three reasons why John’s art is so special: -

Firstly, he invented his own photographic ‘painting with light’ method (a very different and original 'special effect' pure photographic technique in the early 1960's) without using any computer, darkroom chemicals, or expensive equipment, to create his unique top international award winning studies.  This enabled him to produce transparencies (mostly on Kodachrome) that amazed other photographers, Kodak and all the experts at the time, well before anyone had computers.

Secondly, his pictures are not simply the well composed flower, fruit, landscape, nude or portrait studies.  His pictures are so imaginative and once seen, form an impression not easily forgotten.  They have stood the test of time, since many of his most valued pictures were created over 50 years ago.

Thirdly, he has a unique vision and his own art style that everyone can easily understand, yet no one else creates fantasy visual art like his.

The first time 'The London Salon Trophy', a much-coveted International award for artistic photography had ever been awarded for a colour photograph (printed from a Kodachrome transparency) was for 'Spirit of Spring’ in 1967.  John was the not only the youngest salon member ever to have received it, but it was also the very first time a transparency and a negative appeared on the same film emulsion.  Although technically extraordinary, it is more importantly a very fine work of art.

John’s discovery was based on simply photographing projected images that were not always projected on to a screen and the chosen screen often became the subject of the picture; John has photographed projected images on to a feather, a flower, a shell, a butterfly wing, and even on to the edges of the pages of a book!

He built up a collection of around 75 studies that led to over 20 One-Man Exhibitions of his photographs (some sponsored by Kodak) in New York, London, The Edinburgh Festival and many other UK & USA Cities.  At Photo Expo (famous photographers were lucky to have 3 pictures included at 'Photo Expo 68') but a wall of over 60 pictures was devoted to John's photography.

"..regarded as one of Britain's most original photographers" The Times.

"A woman's face was exquisitely metamorphosed with the cup of a yellow tulip - a Femme - Fleur Picasso might have perpetrated had he taken to photography” Arts Revue.

A number of newspaper and photographic magazine articles were published and his art even attracted the attention of such famous names as Cecil Beaton C.B.E., Sir William Russell Flint R.A., Sir George F. Pollock Bt., M.A., and Lady Clementine Spencer Churchill amongst many others.

John has openly explained that he often starts with an idea and then experiments with various images, but sometimes something unforeseen happened, that sends him down a totally fresh route to create a very different picture than the one he originally planned, often it has been these ‘inspired accidents’ that have since turned out to be his most valued artworks.

Recently a young art critic wrote "John N. Cohen's artwork incorporates several genres--ready-made objects, digital photography and Impressionist style of light painting - to create a striking and surreal effect that has a strong impact upon the viewer”

Claudia Moscovici.

"Indeed, since the photographic image is made by the action of light, truth to light is truth to the medium of photography! All John Cohen's photographs are made, simply and solely, by the use of light. His magic is the magic of the luminous; his poetry is that of the chiaroscuro. The attractions of his work is all the greater for the purity of the photographic technique, and its appeal all the more universal for being couched in an imagery common to all men and intelligible to all”.   Sir George F. Pollock Bt., M.A., F.R.P.S., F.R.S.A.

John only started promoting his high quality limited edition prints since he retired and in a relatively short period of time, he has acquired quite a following on LinkedIn, Facebook, and at various other art sites on the Internet, like Flickr, where so many have chosen his pictures as 'favourites'.

"I love these, John. Can imagine them large scale in a white room - would look fantastic!"  Rachel Glittenberg Facebook

"Hi John, I am so pleased to have come across your page, your work is sensationally sophisticated and so softly intense, you have a unique personal talent for expressing visually moments of being and emotional journeys, sincerest congratulations on your excellent artistic technique, xx   you are such a talent John"  Monica Martinelli-Richmond Facebook

"Stunning image!  Your work is amazing!  Your work is extraordinary and very inspirational!"  emellin66 Flickr

"really beautiful and magical. love the composition."   galerie-morgenstern Flickr

With so much success in the 1960’s one might well wonder why John is not by now far better known.  There is a reason; John was involved in the family business, running an independent chain of specialist cinemas; he had become a director, having started as a projectionist, and was responsible for the ‘front of house’ publicity and he really enjoyed the business he was in.  His photography in those days, even with all the success he had, was still simply his hobby!

Later with family commitments and so many more business demands, his photography was put aside.  Although when the family business was sold, because of the impact of video and large rent increases, he set up and ran a commercial photographic and design studio.  John also gave a number of lectures to various photographic societies, in the early days, explaining exactly how he achieved his results.  His lectures were in great demand and he always had a good reception.  Not only were most attending very enthusiastic, but even years later, hardly anyone has produced anything as interesting as his studies.  John also made this information freely available on his website in his article titled 'The Magic Lantern'.

John is now over 70 and is still currently creating pictures (one of the latest is 'Roller'). His pictures certainly cause interest, adding a bright new dimension to any wall. So sophisticated, always a talking point, appealing to all age groups.


One must not forget that John's reality photography is outstanding too (as can be seen in 'Montmartre') and some of these are also published as limited edition prints.

For serious art buyers and art lovers there are still some of the prints for sale. To buy an artwork by John, it is still possible to purchase a print, although they are limited to only 8 of each picture.  Not yet one of the big names, but these pictures do have great investment potential and now is the best time for astute buyers to buy.

"Art Galleries refer to me as a photographer, but photographers refer to me as an Artist!"  John Neville Cohen.


Keywords: John Neville Cohen, artworks, contemporary, photographer, limited edition, painting with light, technique, prints, Kodachrome,

For Much More About John: -

John N. Cohen’s web
Reviews and Exhibitions
Sir George Pollock Introduction
YouTube John talks about 'Painting with Light'

Interviews:  Artpromotive Feb 2012   Leap May 2012  

Facebook Fan Page
Fine Art America
Art Review
Rhizome at the New Museum New York

John Cohen’s websites:

John Neville Cohen’s contact details

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