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About Photography / Professional John Neville CohenMale/Switzerland Recent Activity
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If you are one of the privileged few, having been very fortunate, you probably own at least two homes (one of them will be a large villa, or mansion) and possibly one of them is abroad. You will have paid a top architect and an interior designer, to create your most valued palace, and specialist landscape gardeners will manage your gardens so that everything is beautiful . . . the rest of us can just dream on!  

But how then do you go about adding your own personal statement to your magnificent home?  This is when works of art are considered; again you can call on the experts too and pay an art consultant, or specialist to guide you.  But eventually there will come a time when you will want to buy and display your own choice of picture.  What then are your main options?

Some have chosen to buy the most expensive picture they can possibly find, simply to show off that they can afford it.  Just think of the new owner of 'The Scream' that was recently purchased for a record price of $119.9 million, as an example.  Was it bought because of loving it, or as an investment, or to demonstrate that the owner could afford it?  I do not think there are many that could love it!  In the past many of the most highly expensive contemporary pictures have never been resold, without making rather a big loss, so the investment angle seems to be unlikely.

Whatever is considered great in contemporary art is subject to change; it is only great at a particular time, mainly because the amount paid says that it is!  There are only a few names that have survived the test of time; such as Picasso, or Andy Warhol, but many others eventually simply fall by the wayside.

If you are not so inclined to simply buy the most expensive art you can find, you then have many other choices.  But the art you choose will say something about you; so you should make sure it is one of the focal points of your home and given pride of place, as well as being something that you enjoy.

When thinking about the value of various artists' works, as many unknowns over time can suddenly become sought after, whilst others in big demand can go out of fashion.  The best advice is to simply follow your heart – not your head, nor the experts.

Today you no longer need to rely on art galleries, trying to sell you what they consider are the finest ever, since the Internet provides so many art galleries, from all over the world, allowing you to view at leisure (24 hours a day) and without having to bother with any sales pitch.  But more interestingly, there are very original, excellent artists that now have their own sites making exploring and hunting Internationally a practical option.

Beware of so many experts, making a living by convincing others that they know about art, even though they have never created anything themselves.  The art world is really such a very fickle business, mostly influenced by the latest auction results and the amount of money paid.  Experts talk a lot and come up with various theories, all based on what has sold recently, mainly to maintain their own life style.  But they really have no idea of what will be fashionable next.

With regard to pictures does it have to be an original painting, or could it be a limited edition print?  It has been said that limited edition prints are mainly for those who have a lot more taste.  Today limited edition prints are highly respected, valued as highly as paintings, and often they have appreciated in value too.  So the choice is yours.

So if you want a less expensive work than a Picasso, or an Andy Warholl, yet at the same time you hope your chosen artist might well be discovered big time and prove that you made a great investment.  Then what should you be looking for?

Whilst I am not making any claims to be any kind of expert, I have been a keen collector for many years of various art forms and antiques (that mostly have increased greatly in value) and so I hope that sharing my instincts will be of some help to you.  Obviously, just in case the picture you end up choosing doesn't jump up in value, it is most important that you really like your choice, as you will be living with it.

In times when currencies are at risk and the stock market fails to do well, the chances of success (by choosing the right artist) are far better than those with the Lottery!  

Here are a couple of suggestions of how to begin the selection process: -
· Look for something artistic that you find attractive and beautiful, preferably a picture you feel sure your friends will admire and comment on.
· It is best to choose an inspiring picture, that makes a statement, or that has something fascinating about it.

Then how should you assess your choice of artist, if you want to have the best chance of your artist becoming suddenly famous and priceless?   To have any such chance of succeeding your artist: -
· Needs to have developed a recognisable different style, or show exceptional original creativity.
· Should have already created a reasonable number of works that demonstrate consistent originality.
· Should already have received some recognition, from having held several important one-man exhibitions and received already some worthwhile press, or write-ups.

Should your picture be chosen simply because it is something beautiful, the right colour, something dramatic, classical, or should it be of flowers, a portrait, a scene, or an abstract?  How should you decide?

Well really no one can tell you!  You should simply choose what attracts you and only buy what you really like, or rely on your wife, husband, or partner.  Otherwise, if you dare not back your own judgement, pay the experts, but then is what you call home really your own?

The author has been a very keen Asian antique collector for many years helping to create 'The Cohen Collection' but he is also an artist.  For much more information with lots of photographs see

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John Neville Cohen
Artist | Professional | Photography
John Neville Cohen is really an artist who uses photography. Photographer’s record reality and the best do that really well, but John creates amazing fantasy from reality! His beautiful pictures surprise, intrigue and make quite a statement!

" One of the essential differences between the artist and the photographer is that the artist always starts with a blank canvas, whereas the photographer's canvas 'the viewfinder', or screen, is always full!"
John Neville Cohen

There are three reasons why John’s art is so special: -

Firstly, he invented his own photographic ‘painting with light’ method (a very different and original 'special effect' pure photographic technique in the early 1960's) without using any computer, darkroom chemicals, or expensive equipment, to create his unique top international award winning studies. This enabled him to produce transparencies (mostly on Kodachrome) that amazed other photographers, Kodak and all the experts at the time, many years before anyone had computers.

Secondly, his pictures are not simply the well composed flower, fruit, landscape, nude or portrait studies. His pictures are so imaginative and once seen, form an impression not easily forgotten. They have stood the test of time, since many of his most valued pictures were created over 50 years ago.

Thirdly, he has a unique vision and his own art style that everyone can easily understand, yet no one else creates fantasy visual art like his.

The first time ‘The London Salon Trophy’, a much-coveted International award for artistic photography had ever been awarded for a colour photograph was for 'Spirit of Spring’ in 1967. John was not only the youngest salon member ever to have received it, but it was also the very first time a transparency and a negative appeared on the same film emulsion. Although technically extraordinary, it is more importantly a very fine work of art.

John’s discovery was based on simply photographing projected images that were not always projected on to a screen and the chosen screen often became the subject of the picture; John has photographed projected images on to a feather, a flower, a shell, a butterfly wing, and even on to the edges of the pages of a book!

He built up a collection of around 75 studies that led to over 20 One-Man Exhibitions of his photographs (some sponsored by Kodak) in New York, London, The Edinburgh Festival and many other UK & USA Cities. At Photo Expo (famous photographers were lucky to have 3 pictures included at 'Photo Expo 68') but a wall of over 60 pictures was devoted to John.

"..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.

A number of newspaper and photographic magazine articles were published and his art even attracted the attention of such famous names as Cecil Beaton C.B.E., Sir William Russell Flint R.A., Sir George F. Pollock Bt., M.A., and Lady Clementine Spencer Churchill amongst many others.

John has openly explained that he often starts with an idea and then experiments with various images, but sometimes something unforeseen happened, that sends him down a totally fresh route to create a very different picture than the one he originally planned, often it has been these ‘inspired accidents’ that have since turned out to be his most valued artworks.

Recently a young art critic wrote "John N. Cohen's artwork incorporates several genres--ready-made objects, digital photography and Impressionist style of light painting - to create a striking and surreal effect that has a strong impact upon the viewer” Claudia Moscovici.

"Indeed, since the photographic image is made by the action of light, truth to light is truth to the medium of photography! All John Cohen's photographs are made, simply and solely, by the use of light. His magic is the magic of the luminous; his poetry is that of the chiaroscuro. The attractions of his work is all the greater for the purity of the photographic technique, and its appeal all the more universal for being couched in an imagery common to all men and intelligible to all”. Sir George F. Pollock Bt., M.A., F.R.P.S., F.R.S.A.

John started promoting his high quality limited edition prints only since he retired and in a relatively short period of time, he has acquired quite a following on LinkedIn, Facebook, and at various other art sites on the Internet, like Flickr, where so many have chosen his pictures as 'favourites'.

"I love these, John. Can imagine them large scale in a white room - would look fantastic!" Rachel Glittenberg - Facebook

"Hi John, I am so pleased to have come across your page, your work is sensationally sophisticated and so softly intense, you have a unique personal talent for expressing visually moments of being and emotional journeys, sincerest congratulations on your excellent artistic technique, xx you are such a talent John" Monica Martinelli-Richmond - Facebook

"Stunning image! Your work is amazing! Your work is extraordinary and very inspirational!" emellin66 - Flickr

"really beautiful and magical. love the composition." galerie-morgenstern - Flickr

With so much success in the 1960’s one might well wonder why John is not by now far better known. There is a reason; John was involved in the family business, running an independent chain of specialist cinemas; he had become a director, having started as a projectionist, and was soon responsible for all the ‘front of house’ publicity - he really enjoyed the business he was in. His photography in those days, even with all the success he had, was still simply regarded as his hobby!

Later with family commitments and so many more business demands, his photography was put aside. Although when the family business was sold, because of the impact of video and large rent increases, he set up and ran a commercial photographic and design studio. John also gave a number of lectures to various photographic societies, in the early days, explaining exactly how he achieved his results. His lectures were in great demand and he always had a good reception. Not only were most attending very enthusiastic, but even years later, hardly anyone has produced anything as interesting as his studies. John also made this information freely available on his website in his article titled 'The Magic Lantern'.

John is now over 70 and is still currently creating pictures (one of the latest is 'Roller'). His pictures certainly cause interest, adding a bright new dimension to any wall. So sophisticated, always a talking point, appealing to all age groups.

One must not forget that John's reality photography is outstanding too (as can be seen in 'Montmartre') and some of these are also published as limited edition prints.

For serious art buyers and art lovers there are still some of the prints for sale. To buy an artwork by John, it is still possible to purchase a print, although they are limited to only 8 of each picture. Not yet one of the big names, but these pictures do have great investment potential and now is the best time for astute buyers to buy.

"Art Galleries refer to me as a photographer, but photographers refer to me as an Artist!"
John Neville Cohen.


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