Keren Or Featured: Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen, a 12th grader, is one of this year’s Keren Or (Ray of Light) creative arts contest winners. He won 1st place in 10-12 grade prose for “The Lies I Tell” and Honorable Mention for “The Warning.” Here’s a Q&A with him about his work!


What and/or who inspires your creative practice?

Mainly the movies I like. I’d say I’ve been influenced the most by David Fincher.

What does creating art mean to you and why is it important to you?

I guess it’s just a form of expression. Bottling up emotions, both positive and negative, creates too much pressure inside. Eventually, the feelings and thoughts must emerge, but it is not always that simple. Humans are very complex, so sometimes, normal speech and actions won’t suffice. In those cases, art can help tap into the unexplainable, detailing and emitting emotions we can’t comprehend with logic. So that makes it pretty important, at least to me.

Share a fun fact about yourself that you’d like people to know?

I’m a big trivia nut, and one of my biggest areas of expertise is baseball. If I have a pencil and paper, I can usually list out the members of the 500 home run club, the 3000 hit club, the 3000 strikeout club, MVP winners, and maybe some other things as well. I don’t claim to know even remotely everything about baseball, but I can answer most questions about a specific player’s statistics and achievements.