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Jun 29

"Linguitics and Word Craft": An Artist Talk with Aaron Cobbett

Aaron Cobbet is a beacon of creativity and resilience, his quilts and obelisks are testaments personal and collective histories. His installation envelops with a comforting embrace, a testament to Cobbett's journey through the AIDS crisis. Quilting was more than a creative outlet; but a form of therapy. Cobbett's incorporation of word quilts and visual puns captivates. He plays a game of linguistic and wordc craft, the meaning of words shift upon verbalization. Alongside his quilts, Cobbett's obelisks stand tall and proud, their monolithic forms symbolizing both power and vulnerability.

ArtCrawl Harlem Artist Residency House
403 Colonels Row, Governors Island, NYC, NY 10004
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Jun 29, 2024 01:00pm - Jun 29, 2024 03:00pm

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"Games People Play"

ArtCrawl Harlems Boundaries & Connections Artist Residency is a unique themed Program. This year's theme, "Games People Play" brings together a diverse group of visual and literary artists exploring the intricacies of human relationships in the context of social, political, economic, familial, and love dynamics. This interdisciplinary project welcomes painters, collagists, fiber artists, writers, photographers and installation artists to engage in a creative dialogue that transcends traditional boundaries.                                                                                                     


Throughout the residency, these talented artists will collaborate and independently create thought-provoking works of art that

challenge, question, and reflect upon the multifaceted nature of our interactions with one another. From the vibrant canvases of painters to the intricate textures of fiber artists, from the evocative words of writers to the captivating snapshots of photographers, "Games People Play" promises a rich tapestry of artistic expressions.                                                      

Aaron Cobbett

Brooklyn-based artist Aaron Cobbett started his career in the 1980s a a window dresser at New York's famed Bergdorf Goodman department store. Simultaneously participating in the vibrant East Village drag scene, this confluence of experiences - also within the context of the AIDS crisis - informed and shaped Cobbett's artistic practice. Working across textile, video, installation and photography, his color saturated, high concept portraits have become a cornerstone of New York queer visual culture.


As a survivor of the AIDS crisis and a longtime caregiver, quilting has provided me with solace and a creative space deeply grounded in the nurturing rhythms of domesticity. I create textile works from salvaged and saved materials from past sets, costumes, and drag, and re-purposed household textiles.


The origins of the fabrics and materials used in my work create a unique oral history that exists alongside the works By wrapping monolithic forms, long emblematic of power and wonder, I'm "blanketing" power structures, while simultaneously elevating the quiet grace of caring for another human that quilts embody. The history embedded in the fibers, processed through hours of meditative labor make them alive. As these new beings emerge, I'm repopulating my life, filling the void left by those who’ve passed on. What were once fragments of fabric become new spirits who assert themselves into present space and time to declare: I'm alive, I'm here, and I remember.

"Weapon Eyes" (2021)

by Aaron Cobbett

Painter Quilt, Salvaged Leather. Bleached Denim, Acrylic Paint, other Cotton

51" X 38"

ArtCrawl Harlem Inc.,(501(c)3) founded in 2008 as Harlem’s first trolley car guided art tour and later incorporated as an educational non-profit art gallery tour in 2016. ArtCrawl Harlem’s mission is to support and promote Harlem’s creative community and historical legacy through dynamic arts, cultural programs, and educational initiatives.


ArtCrawl Harlem promotes the exposure of professional and emerging artist, Harlem art galleries and cultural institutions. The aim is to elevate Harlem on the greater metropolitan cultural map, while providing both education and quality experiences to visitors, tourists and members of the community.


ArtCrawl Harlem sustains, supports and promotes art in Harlem.