Ira Cohen: Mylar Images
Ira Cohen’s “Mylar Images”, a unique series of surrealistic photographs, will be exhibited in the Gallery of Photography from the 28th Sept – 5th Oct.
Ira Cohen, born February 3rd, 1935 to deaf parents in New York City, began developing his vision at one year learning to spell with his fingers. A photographer and poet, he has lived and created in New York, Tangier, Amsterdam and Kathmandu.
Starting out with a vision of the ‘Universe as a Darkroom’, Cohen brings us a complex of cosmic images which are like windows to a world of light, color and form which transcends the traditional east-west boundaries and takes us to a world of mystery and magic.
Photographer, poet, film-maker, historian, publisher of literary journals and books of poetry, practitioner of ‘rap’, Cohen took a Yugoslavian freighter to Tangier in 1961 where he was exposed to the cut-up technique of Brian Gysin and William Burroughs and published ‘Gnaoua’, a literary magazine devoted to exorcism, and produced a recording of trance music, “Jilala”.
In the late 60’s, in his loft on the lower east side back in Manhattan, Cohen created the ‘Mylar Images’, perhaps the most awesome body of work of surrealistic photographs to ever emerge from behind the lens. Using the mylar as a liquification lens, Cohen and the endless flow of hip who made that magic scene, costumed and made up in theatrical style before entering Cohen’s ‘Light Machine’, a chamber of mylar walls, ceiling and floor illuminated by coloured and black light where his alchemical camera captured images of fantastic color and vibrancy.