Artist Statement -

'Painting with light' is all about photographing projected images that surprisingly are not often projected on to a screen. John discovered the projector really is a magical magic lantern! Computers and digital images were unknown at the time when some of his finest pictures were created (some of them nearly 50 years ago). Yet they have stood up to the test of time and are still considered exceptional, making quite a statement!

It was by chance, seeing an image projected, partly on the curtains and wallpaper that started this unique art form. By moving the projector and focusing on to other objects, noting how they distorted the image and influenced the texture and shape, led to the idea of photographing what could be seen. Then by adding more projectors he was also able to blend different images too and so ‘painting with light’ began.

John started with an idea and experimented with various images, but he explained that sometimes something unforeseen happened, that sent him down a totally fresh route to create a very different picture than was originally planned, it is these ‘inspired accidents’ that have since turned out to be his very best works.

The London Salon Trophy
The first time this much coveted International artistic photography trophy had ever been awarded for a colour photograph was in 1967. Presented to John N. Cohen for his creation 'Spirit of Spring', he was also the youngest Salon member ever to have received it. 'Spirit of Spring' was created by his own technique of 'painting with light' that enabled him to blend a portrait transparency with a negative of a tulip on the same emulsion. His technique involved photographing masked projected images that were not always projected on to a screen.

Subsequently he had over 20 One-Man Exhibitions of his photographs (some were sponsored by Kodak) 2 held in New York, 4 in London, The Edinburgh Festival and many other UK & USA Cities. Attracting the attention of Cecil Beaton C.B.E., Sir William Russell Flint R.A. and Lady Clementine Spencer-Churchill. Favourable reviews and comments were published in 'The Times', 'Arts Review', as well as in many other newspapers and photographic magazines.

These pictures are now offered for sale as Limited Editions of just 8. (They should all be treated as watercolour paintings and not displayed in direct sun light, but these pictures do have a very long colour life).

Any picture purchased, is sold on the clear understanding, that if it is not right for the purchaser (for whatever reason) a full refund will be made on the safe return in perfect condition (within two weeks of the delivery). Only the return cost of the delivery and insurance is not included.

The copyright of the picture is retained by the artist and no reproductions can be published or sold by the purchaser without prior written consent.

"I use pure photography to express ideas, or thoughts, rather than reality. I trust that my pictures will intrigue, cause interest and be appreciated as very original art works. My technique involves photographing projected images rather than computer manipulation."

"Uso puramente fotografia para expresar ideas o pensamientos, mas que la realidad. Confio que mis creaciones intriguen, provoquen interés y que sean apreciadas como obras de arte originales. Mi técnica implica el fotografiar imagenes proyectadas sin hacer uso de ningun tipo de manipulacion computarizada." John N. Cohen

These pictures are available in various sizes up to 150cm x 107cm approx, but in total the limited edition is 8. Although any size can be provided and the total limit of 8 will still apply. Also the right is retained to also reproduce these pictures, but only as very small size prints (such as for greeting cards). Much more information can be found at

Artist Exhibitions

One-Man Exhibitions
(listed in order of events)

Wall of Colour. Kodak House London.

Jacey Gallery. Marble Arch London.

Belgrade Theatre. Coventry.

Midland Arts Centre. Birmingham.

National Film Theatre. Manchester.

Westcott Art Centre. Dorking.

Surrey University. Surrey.

National Film Theatre. London.

Lonsdale Hands Organisation. Commonwealth House London.

National Film Theatre. London.
After London. The exhibition travelled to all other NFT locations.

Kodak exhibition. Grand Central Station New York.

Bristol Arts Centre. Bristol.

Graves Gallery. Sheffield.

Edinburgh Festival. Edinburgh.

Photo Expo. Coliseum New York.

Viewfinder Gallery. Marble Arch London.

Thorndike Theatre. Surrey.

Exhibited or Accepted

London Salon. For four consecutive years and awarded principle trophy in 1967.

Royal Photographic Society. A.R.P.S.

Photographic Alliance Inter-Federation Competition. Awarded certificate of merit.

Camberley Salon. Invited to provide an honorary panel for two consecutive years.

Exhibition of Midland Photography. Awarded the Tomkinson Rose Bowl.

Master Photographers Association. L.M.P.A.

Camera Infinity. Lever House New York. Also invited to join their travelling exhibition to a number of cities in USA.

Contemporary Circle. United Photographic Postfolios. An invited member.

1st Festival of Internacional de Arte Marbella 19th - 21st June 2009

International Competitions

Versailles France. Edinburgh Festival Scotland. Southampton England. Cremona Italy. Midland Salon England.

Artist Publications

The London Salon Trophy
The first time this much coveted international trophy had ever been awarded for a colour photograph was in 1967. Presented to John N. Cohen for his creation 'Spirit of Spring' he was also the youngest member ever to have received it.

Reviews & Exhibitions

A small selection, from many reviews and letters received, after over a dozen major one-man exhibitions held in Europe and America.

"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.

"To Cohen the impossible in colour merely takes a little longer."
Photography Year Book.

"I like his sense of angle."
Sir William Russell Flint R.A.

"Very marketable as well as interesting and adventurous in themselves with congratulations."
Cecil Beaton C.B.E.

"To view your pictures was a reward."
T. C. Grover President
The Institute of Incorporated Photographers.

"Many congratulations on the two photographs in `Colour Photography' which I think are marvellous."
Peter Sellers.

"This really is a remarkable picture. Thank you so much. My best wishes for your forthcoming exhibition for the Edinburgh Festival."
Lady Clementine Spencer-Churchill.

"All good wishes for a camera artist of sheer genius."
Bob Collins Editor `Masterplots' U.S.A.

"Congratulations on the Exhibition at the Kodak Centre in New York - I know the site and it is certainly one of the busiest points in the world."
Geoffrey Crawley Editor
The British Journal of Photography.

"Re: Photo Expo at the Coliseum New York. The entire Exposition was a tremendous success and I want to thank you once again for making your print set available. Your photographic work is outstanding."
Frank Pallo Co-Ordinator Photo Expo.

"Among those in which mind takes precedence over matter I would select `Galatea in Bronze' and `Spirit of Spring' both by John N. Cohen. The latter, in particular, must be the product of very considerable thought and it is worthy of the highest praise."
H. A. Murch Hon. F.R.P.S. Editor
Amateur Photographer Magazine. ...

Artist Collections

Numerous private, corporate, museum, gallery and government collections detailed information coming soon.

Artist Favorites