Dispatches from the Ghost Ship

Jacob Cohen
January 23, 2018

This content was removed to protect the identities of the subjects.

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Jacob Cohen

Jacob Cohen

Jacob Cohen is a Brooklyn-based experimental cellist, visual artist, and educator. Since 2014 he has been working with the adolescents and young adults incarcerated on Rikers Island. He brings his cello directly to the housing units, often working with young people that have received infractions for violent behavior while on Rikers. After about a year of working with the young people he started to draw portraits of them. There are no pictures of the young people during their incarceration other than their mug shots, and no cameras are allowed onto the island. At first the drawings were very basic, but over time complexity and nuance began to develop and the portraits began capture something essential about the subjects and the relationship of the artist to them. This series of portraits are of young men, between the ages of 16-21, currently incarcerated on Rikers Island awaiting sentencing.

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