We met with Daniel Allen Cohen; a multi-faceted artist from Los Angeles who continuously amazes his audience with innovative art that pushes the boundaries on societal issues with humor, sarcasm, and irony.
Cohen often explores different mediums depending on his current focus and ideas. He is best known for his collection This Is Addictive - a witty take on various types of human vices and addictions. Whether he targets drugs, affluence, or fame, he considers his work “as a vessel for people to question our culture’s societal values that the media (and social media) has created”, he said.
His concise approach to art creation leads to a lifelike final product that details vices or the effects of such. Everyone has their vices, and This Is Addictive explores that realisation through witty and cheeky commentaries that will spark conversation regardless of the viewer's standpoint, fulfilling both the purpose of interaction and deep exploration of each piece.
The starting point
When asked how it all started Daniel said, “Art to me is my inner child, my calling and purpose. It’s been a passion of mine forever”. Cohen has been an artist for most of his life, but it became more than just a hobby in 2011 when he released his first official series, Lyrics Mosaic. After a few years, he had the idea for This Is Addictive which became the turning point for his career. From there, his sales and exposure grew to new levels through art shows at well-known LA galleries like Art Angels and Bruce Lurie Gallery, combined with extensive networking. “One of my true keys to success in the art world is networking and building relationships and friendships. It is the reason why I have been able to be consistent in my growth year after year.”
Daniel attributes much of his early success from the hard work he put in from the beginning of his career, which is emulated through overwhelming support from collectors and galleries.
One of his most memorable career highlights was his first solo exhibition during Art Week Miami 2019. Daniel had his own booth at the critically acclaimed art fair CONTEXT where he debuted with The Hofmann University; an immersive chemistry classroom-like setting that displayed the "Periodic Table of Drugs". It was a very proud moment for him and the response was unbelievable. “Basel for the art world is like the Superbowl, it gives me and other artists the opportunity to debut and release something that we’ve been working on. Social media also plays a huge role in exposure nowadays. You have the art fairs and art shows which are a huge aspect to exposing your work, but social media is a digital footprint leaving something behind for people to see", he explains.
The beauty of art
Getting deeper into the conversation about art as a subjective way of expression, Daniel continues: “With art you can never make everyone happy. Some of these societal issues that I address in my work can be sensitive for some people. It’s always a mixed bag of reactions that the work can receive. My approach to making art that surrounds these issues is to be light-hearted and as humorous as possible. The work is not a personal reflection of me so I have less of an emotional attachment to the possible concern if someone doesn’t like it”.
Creating a dialogue about taboo topics is important to initiate some type of change, and Cohen’s work is coiled together with messages to do exactly that. As a young emerging artist, he has already made a major impact on the art scene and will continue to build his brand with upcoming projects and an unstoppable drive. “I’m always creating and working on various projects. I love discovering new concepts through mashups or recycling things in a unique way. That outcome becomes something proprietary to my style. Seeing my idea come to life is one of the more exciting parts about my creative process”, Daniel explains.
Right now he’s working on a new series called Benjamin’s Bread which will be his largest edition released yet. The dreams and goals for the future are clear, but Daniel also sees himself stepping into other entrepreneurial endeavors while creating art full time.