"Untitled (Broken Umbrella)" by Lauren Cohen, self published in 2018
A female artist moves to New York for the first time, landing next to the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Her new neighbor is the deceased composer, Leonard Bernstein. This graphic novel is a culmination of the artist's relatable insecurities about life, feminism, politics, current events, the art world, loneliness, sex, memories and New York. Laying on the granite bench at Bernstein's grave, as if in a psychiatrist's office, she seeks comfort and guidance in an ever-spinning, chaotic, amazing city.
"A6BB9B" by Lauren Cohen, completed in 2021 and self published in 2022
Full of existential inquiry, a female artist builds her future in New York City. She lands a job assisting Martha Stewart, one of the most successful businesswomen in the world. Growing up understanding what it means to be successful can be a tough concept to crack. By age 35, women are expected to be married with children and maintain a happy household. The packaged fantasy that exists on the glossed pages of Martha Stewart's, 'Living', is perhaps a farce. Authentically building one's own universe is the key. Despite every challenge, including a pandemic, she pushes forward. In one generous moment, her life could change forever.
“The Ditch” by Lauren Cohen, self published in 2022
The Ditch is a metaphor for every hole we may find ourselves in; the depths of which are very real. How we dig ourselves out and expose the layers of truth uncover faults in society and, over time, quakes tangible change.
Artist, Lauren Cohen, grew up next to the original home of the 1692 witch trial minister, Samuel Parris. Patriarchal control reigned supreme in Puritan New England and the strict obedience to a man’s dictatorship was concrete. Violence, rape, murder and power commonly start within the foundations of the home. We can see in the waves of the #metoo movement that much more work must be done. The ‘hysterical’ behavior of the women in this book reference the people of Old Salem Village and parallel Cohen’s own repressed, strict upbringing. Despite the distance of time, trauma still develops. However, hope is possible for those who are unwilling to be buried alive in an early grave. With self reflection, awareness, communication and teamwork, it can be done. This book wouldn’t have been made if the artist didn’t believe it to be true.