Friday, September 28, 2007
Parish Kohanim - Split Personality
Parish Kohanim embraces a variety of genres as he captivates and ensnares his viewers. His images are bold, dramatic, vibrant and whimsical—and he always delivers the goods.
Parish Kohanim's work isn't easy to categorize. The Atlanta-based photographer doesn't do just one thing; he photographs people and products, in the studio and on location, for advertising as well as fine art. The only common thread that runs through his work is that he makes it all beautiful.
“I really don't care,” he says of his split personality. “I just do what's fun. There's so much out there, and I've just begun to touch the surface. It drives art directors crazy—‘What do you do?' I love it all. I find experimentation is a growth process for me. Maybe I have an attention deficit; I can't stay on one thing. You have to keep doing new things; otherwise, you get bored. There's so much out there to experiment with.”
And experiment he does. Whether it's for a client or for his own self-assignments, Kohanim relishes every opportunity to push himself in new directions. Consequently, his portfolio is filled with a wide variety of images that each somehow remains distinctly his own. For commercial work, he chooses jobs that are personally fulfilling; for personal work, he chooses subjects that challenge and invigorate him. No matter what he's shooting, it's his personal vision combined with a love for experimentation that keeps his work fresh.
“I give myself assignments to hopefully better myself—try new things, different approaches, different lighting, different techniques,” explains Kohanim. “I've always done fine art, or I guess you could call it personal projects, to keep me sane, because a lot of the assignments that I used to do, advertising campaigns and all that, they're not always exciting.
“I don't have this snobbish attitude,” he continues. “If a client has a small job that's interesting, I definitely go for it. It's not the size; it's what's interesting. Sometimes people ask me to do uninteresting things, but I just like to be with them; they're nice people, so I do it. And we have fun. The basic component is to have fun in anything you do and then it doesn't become work anymore.”
For Kohanim to have fun, he needs to photograph beautiful things. More precisely, he needs to make beautiful photographs no matter the subject. Take his image of dead flowers, Timeless Beauty. While the subject may not be inherently beautiful, Kohanim saw the opportunity to create a photograph that is.