TRES DE MAYO
Adam Jason Cohen
With a nod to the 19th century Goya painting of the same name, Tres de Mayo, American photographer Adam Jason Cohen (1986) explains how this artwork provided inspirations that are subtly reflected in his work: “If you look at the painting, it’s all about social justice and self-expression.”
Cohen creates vibrant insights into Chicago as he explores authentic narratives and personal experiences of the city. Motivated by his own curiosities, Cohen discovers the blend of contemporary cultures that reside there today.
Centring on the Cinco de Mayo celebrations taking place in the Pilsen neighbourhood, all work was shot over this single day as Cohen approaches his series with clear intentions to reflect means of self-expression. He captures the brash aesthetics of individuals attending the celebrations, directing his eye toward highly decorated vehicles and characters emblazoned with accessories and tattoos. In focusing on the cars and their owners, Cohen provides insight into characters in his collation of varied low riders and adorned individuals, challenging the audience to think critically about the realities and personalities of the depicted cultures.
Tres de Mayo is part of a trio of zines Cohen has published, including also his projects Fresh Garb and King of Pop.