NAME: Aaron Cobbett
LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY
ORIGIN: Rochester, NY
ART: Textiles, Photography, Costume Design
MAIN GENRE: Quilter
TRAINING: NYU Tisch School of the Arts
ARTS AFFILIATIONS: Leslie Lohman, The Artists Forum
BIO: Aaron Cobbett began his career as a window dresser in the 80’s and has gone on to become an accomplished photographer, costume designer and textile artist. He’s designed costumes for Patricia Field, Christopher Williams and countless drag shows, photo shoots and music videos. His work has been the subject of two monographs (Super Eros in 1999 and Cobbett in 2008) and has been shown at the FIT Museum, the Leslie Lohman Museum, the New York Historical Society, and the Louvre in Paris. Living and working in Brooklyn, NY, Aaron’s latest projects focus on quilt making and the human body.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: As an award-winning filmmaker, Aaron’s work has been featured in various film festivals, including our inaugural The Artists Forum Festival of the Moving Image: 2016, where he won our Best Music Video Award for the song “Cha Cha Bitch” by AB Soto.
As a textile artist, Aaron has been awarded residencies at MASS MoCA, Instinct Berlin, and Yaddo, among others. His textile works have been exhibited at Village Berlin Gallery, the MCLA Berkshire Cultural Resource Center in North Adams, Massachusetts, and the Tisch Institute of Emerging Media in New York City.
LATEST WORKS: Carl X (2019) – Lens based quilt, Repurposed denim, steel studs, chains, 74” x 55”. Stop (2021) – Quilt, Repurposed denim, sequins, appliqué, 63” x 46”. Keyon (2017) – Lens based quilt, Repurposed men’s suits, 73” x 111”.
WORK SAMPLES: One music/mini-doc video: Nashom: Starlight – A memorial tribute by Aaron Cobbett (2020) – Aaron captures an in-studio performance during the making of an unreleased song by artist Nashom Wooden who died in the early months of the pandemic from COVID-19. One music video: Cha Cha Bitch (2015) – Aaron’s award-winning music video for singer/songwriter AB Soto. One interview: The Artists Forum Television, EP 72. Three textile art images: Carl X, Stop, and Keyon. Two images: Artist self-portaits.
Please describe your artistic themes
My work consists of themes surrounding human social structures and the breakdown thereof. Language, queerness, animism.
Please describe your creative process
My work is a metaphor for the piecing together of a life. I collect, process, and assemble discarded and used materials with techniques of sewing, dyeing, embroidery, appliqué, paint, and the human body.
What are your artistic goals? What do you need to achieve them?
I love doing residencies and I’m starting to apply for grants. It’s amazing how much time artists have to spend writing.
What are your views on the industry?
Like any industry, it’s about the bottom line.
What advice would you give to emerging artists?
Avoid trends. Don’t be seduced by worldly success. Pursue knowledge.
THE ARTISTS FORUM TV: #theartistsforumtv Ep 72 (feat. Aaron Cobbett, Mike Lowther, with host Bill Coleman)