Brian D. Cohen: Emblems
The etchings in this series are based on the form of the 17th century emblem book. The historical book intended associations and diverse meanings of key elements of the world in schematic and formal spatial arrangements. The emblem book envisioned the universe as 'like a book or mirror of our life and death', and objects in the world as invested with immediate and enduring universal significance. The artist says: "I start out my etchings broadly but with a clear geometric underpinning. The process of etching is physical and elemental, requiring force and pressure, inviting aggression and then delicacy, conjoining fire, water, earth, and air. I embrace themes of loss, futility, destruction, and unexpected, redemptive beauty, themes tied to the tradition of printmaking, whose imagery has always tended toward critical commentary and serious contemplation, and often toward humor and irony as well."