Dispatches From the Ghost Ship

Jacob Cohen
February 7, 2018

Concept: Elijah Kuan-Wong & Sidd Joag
Drawings: Jacob Cohen

Jacob Cohen is a Brooklyn-based experimental cellist, visual artist, and educator. Since 2014, he has been working with adolescents and young adults incarcerated on Rikers Island. He brings his cello directly to the housing units, often playing for those that have received infractions for violent behavior while on Rikers. After about a year he started to draw portraits of them and their surroundings. At first they were very basic, but over time complexity and nuance began to develop and the drawings began to capture something deeply personal about the subjects, and revealing of the system in which they are ensnared. There are no photos taken of the inmates during their incarceration other than their mugshot. No cameras are allowed onto the island. These images are of youth, ages 16-21, currently incarcerated and awaiting sentencing.

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