Performative Neighborhood Booths
In December of 2020, artist Lauren Cohen set up a booth in her neighborhood to exhibit her artistic creations in public. Having obtained her Masters in painting from Royal College of Art in London, Cohen faced the prospect of building a network from scratch in New York City.
The daunting task of starting anew in a city where one lacks a community was a challenge. Despite the obstacles posed by the ongoing pandemic and her own social anxieties, her exhibition opportunities were limited.
Cohen’s artistic endeavors grapple with a range of existential themes, such as love, power, success, feminism, patriarchy, sexuality, and existentialism. Her work reflects a profound introspection and a keen awareness of her own vulnerabilities and insecurities. Her artistic journey is one that is deeply therapeutic and is informed by her lived experiences.
Her performative booths hail from a previous project titled, “The Other New Yorker” which she launched in 2017 as a means of processing the political upheaval that followed the presidential election of Donald Trump. This initiative, which took its inspiration from the iconic New Yorker publication, allowed Cohen to express herself more boldly and fearlessly than she might have done otherwise. Her drawings and illustrations are raw, authentic, and resonate with her personal journey towards self-actualization.
Cohen’s booth, which debuted during holiday seasons, was strategically located on the bustling streets of Park Slope as well as within the comedy venue, Littlefield. Initially, she shared her creations through printed materials, such as curated drawings and card sets. However, as her vision evolved, Cohen began to experiment with more elaborate ceramic pieces that were inspired by her drawing practice.
The artist has always used comedy to cope with otherwise challenging topics. Currently working as a cue card girl for Saturday Night Live, Cohen incorporates her visual output into her comedic performances.
Documentation of Previous Booths