Jeff Cowen

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Jeff Cowen
Born (1966-01-09) January 9, 1966 (age 49)
New York City, New York
Residence Berlin, Germany
Alma mater New York University
Occupation Art photographer

Jeff Cowen (January 9, 1966 in New York City, New York) is an American art photographer known for painterly photo murals and photo collages. Cowen is the first photographer to be represented by the Michael Werner Gallery Cologne since it opened in 1968.

Early life and education[edit]

Jeff Cowen was a New York University Honours Scholar in Oriental Studies. He also studied at Waseda University in Tokyo. His senior year he took a photography class with Elaine Mayes at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. During this class he made photographs of prostitution in the Meatpacking District in New York City. This work was acquired by the New-York Historical Society for their permanent collection.[1]


After graduating he worked as an assistant for master American photographers Larry Clark from 1988–1990, and Ralph Gibson from 1990-1992. Clark was the assistant of W. Eugene Smith and Gibson was the assistant of Dorothea Lange.

At age 23, Cowen's images of the Romanian Revolution appeared in: The Guardian, Tel Aviv Post, Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun.

Cowen studied drawing and anatomy (1994–1996) at the Art Students League of New York and the New York Studio School.

In 2001, he moved to Paris, France.

He was awarded the Thomas Cooke Award for Photography.[2]

In 2005, his first monograph was published by Paris Musées.[3] That monograph contains his early New York work and his painterly Mural collages of nudes. In 2007, Cowen collaborated with filmmaker and writer Andre Labarthe founder of the Cahiers du cinéma for his exhibition called The Lotus Eaters.[4]

Since 2007, Cowen has lived in Berlin.

Cowen taught photography to underprivileged, inner-city kids at LEAP between 1990 and 1994. Cowen discovered and mentored the young and brilliant illegal immigrant Dan-el Padilla [1] and helped him earn a scholarship to Collegiate School in New York City. Padilla later earned a scholarship at Princeton University where he graduated with the highest distinction and was offered full scholarship at Oxford University. Due to Padilla's illegal immigrant status, Padilla and Cowen were both featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal that highlighted some of the absurdity and rigidity of U.S. immigration laws.[5]

Self-portrait by Jeff Cowen and Csilla Szabo (diptych), 55 x 98 cm, 2011, Edition of 6

Selected exhibitions[edit]

2014 - Jeff Cowen, Solo Exhibition, VeneKlasen Werner Gallery, Berlin
2013 - Jeff Cowen, Solo Exhibition, Michael Werner Köln, Paris Photo, Grand Palais, Paris
2013 - Jeff Cowen, Photographie, Solo Exhibition, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Köln
2013 - Jeff Cowen and Yamamoto Masao, Group Show, PUG Gallery, Oslo
2013 - Art Cologne, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Köln
2012 - Recent Acquisitions, Huis Marseille Museum for photography, Grand Palais, Paris Photo, Paris
2012 - Jeff Cowen. Photographic works, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Cologne
2011 - Jeff Cowen, personal exhibition, Gallery Seine 51, Paris
2011 - Art Moscow special project, Insight, personal exhibition curated by Eric Schlosser, Moscow
2011 - Personal exhibition, Urs Albrecht, Basel
2011 - Art Cologne, Gallery Bernd Klueser, Munich
2011 - Los Angeles Art Show, Gallery Seine 51, Paris
2010 - Scarab, personal exhibition, Gallery Bernd Klueser, Munich
2010 - Bologna Art Fair, Gallery Nieves Fernandez, Madrid
2010 - Pulse Miami, Gallery Nieves Fernandez, Madrid
2009 - Personal exhibition, Gallery Seine 51, Miami
2009 - Attacus Atlas, personal exhibition, Gallery Seine 51, Paris
2009 - Pulse Miami, Gallery Nieves Fernandez, Madrid
2009 - Photoespana 2009, personal exhibition, Gallery Nieves Fernandez, Madrid
2009 - Art Chicago 2009, Gallery Nieves Fernandez, Madrid
2009 -Palm Beach 3, Gallery Seine 51, Paris
2009 - Arco 2009, Gallery Bernd Klueser, Munich
2009 - ArtBasel, Gallery Bernd Klueser, Munich
2008 - Jeff Cowen, personal exhibition, A/34 Gallery, Barcelona
2008 -White Now, group exhibition, Gallery Seine 51, Paris
2008 -Arco 2008, Gallery Bernd Klueser, Munich
2008 - Photo murals, personal Exhibition, Gallery Bernd Klueser, Munich
2007 - ArtBasel, Gallery Bernd Klueser, Munich
2006 - The Lotus-Eaters, Gallery Seine 51, Paris
2006 - Fotografies, group exhibition, A/34 Gallery, Barcelona
2006 - Galerie d’Art de Créteil, Premières rencontres photographiques, Créteil
2005 - L’art et la guerre, group exhibition, La Filature, Mulhouse
2005 - Art Paris, 7ème édition, Carrousel du Louvre, Gallery Seine 51, Paris
2004 - Art Paris, 6ème édition, Carrousel du Louvre, Gallery Seine 51, Paris
2004 - 1987-2004 work, Galerie Seine 51, Paris
2003 - Art Paris, 5ème édition, Carrousel du Louvre, Gallery Seine 51, Paris
2003 - Shoot and Die, Gallery Seine 51, Paris
2001 - The Scroll Paintings, The Point Gallery, New York
2001 - Ming, Chaos Night Club, New York
2000 - China Studies, Luise Gallery, New York
1999 - Shoot and Die, Vitrines Calvin Klein du Bergdorf Goodman, New York
1994 - South Bronx, Collegiate School, New York
1993 - Chris D’Amelio, Curates Solo Show of West 14th Street at The Space, New York

Publications and press[edit]

2013 - Jeff Cowen Photography, text by Klaus Honnef, Märkish Wilmersdorf/Köln/New York
2013 - Joe Festa, “The Drag Queen Stroll: Jeff Cowen and 1980s New York City”, The New York Historical Society,, March
2013 - “Stemmen fra New York, Jeff Cowen”, Fotografi Nr. 4, Norway
2012 - Alexandra Wach, “Goldene Patina des Augenblicks”, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, 11 February
2012 - Thomas Linden, “Grenzgebiete der Darstellungskunst”, coices - Kultur. Kino. Köln, 8 March
2012 - Ruwo, “non-moment”, rheinische Art. kultur Magazin online, March
2012 - Prof. Andrej Glusgold, “Jeff Cowen”, fnder, October
2012 - “Paris Photo Collections Museales”, Art Press, November
2012 - Art Cologne Sonderheft, Monopol, Cover, Germany, April
2011 - Connaissance des Arts Photo 28: Des arbres et des fleurs, Nov 2011[6]
2011 - The Moscow News: The state of the art, Sept 2011[7]
2010 - Photo Magazine Romania: Exposé Jeff Cowen Scarab, Bucharest [8]
2010 - Vision Magazine: Scarab, July 2010, Beijing[9]
2009 - Catalogue: Attacus Atlas, Gallery Seine 51, Paris [10]
2009 - Weltkunst: Cover, Viel Licht, Viel Schatten. Fotographie Zwischen Handwerk und Kunst, Sept 2009, Munich
2009 - Shared Space, The Joseph M. Cohen Collection, The Cygnet Foundation, New York[11]
2008 - Lens Culture Magazine, Jeff Cowen, Barcelona, text by Jim Casper, Paris[12]
2008 - L'insensé/Photo: Les Photographes Américains Contemporains, Paris[13]
2008 - Catalogue: Reflections on light, Gallery Bernd Klueser, Munich [14]
2008 - Catalogue: Jeff Cowen, text by Urs Albrecht, Galerie A34, Barcelona
2008 - French L'Officel #922, Interview Jeff Cowen, p. 256-257[15]
2007 - French L'Officiel #920, Guest Artist, "Jeff Cowen September 7"
2007 - Kultphoto, porfolio Lotus-Eaters, Italie
2006 - The Lotus-Eaters, text by André S. Labarthe, Gallery Seine 51, Paris [10]
2005 - Lens Culture Magazine, Jeff Cowen, Cuba, text by Jim Casper, Paris[16]
2005 - Liberation, Photographie International, Photo magazine, Art actuel
2004 - Jeff Cowen, Monograph, Editions Paris-Musées, Gallery Seine 51[17]
2003 - Dreams through the glass, Editions Assouline
2003 - Exposition Shoot and Die: Beaux Arts, Photo magazine, Paris Match, Chronic’art, Update, Playboy magazine, Nudus…[10]
1999 - New York Post, page 6, Bergdorf Goodman installation
1992 - New York News Day, South Bronx Photographer
1990 - Romanian Revolution: Manchester Guardian, Tel Aviv Post, Yomiru Shimbun, Asashi Shimbun


External links[edit]