Born and bred in Los Angeles, California, Jonathan creates mosaic art with stained glass. You read that correctly, mosaic art. Not the most popular medium these days, but it has been around for centuries, dating as far back as 1500 B.C. At the ripe old age of 7, Jonathan’s father, Joseph, began teaching him, and his older brother Chris, this ancient art form. He had learned this ancient trade from his father, Carlos Cohen, when he was a young boy. Three generations of Cohens creating stunning mosaic works of art.
In this digital age, Jonathan’s father didn’t want his two kids creative juices wasting away on the couch with an Xbox controller in their hands. So night after night, father to son in the studio, he taught his sons about tiles, glass, cutting techniques and so forth. “Playing video games was a reward once we finished our mosaic work,”
Jonathan says. He recalls the first time he won an award for his mosaic work, “One of the first mosaics I did was for a contest for ‘National Bank’. I won 2nd Place and I was 8 or 9 years old at the time. It was a mosaic of an Aztec pyramid in Mexico.”
Jonathan’s pieces are filled with passion, his attention to detail is jaw-dropping, and his perseverance is inspiring. You have to see one of Jonathan’s pieces in person to grasp the amount of time and hard work that goes into each piece. One of his newest pieces, an ode to the Breaking Bad phenomenon, Jonathan created a Walter White portrait mosaic. It took him about 3 months to complete, over 220 hours of cutting and placing glass tiles. He admits that “with pretty much every project I’ve worked on, I get a couple of cuts every square foot.” Ouch!
Despite the hazards of the job, Jonathan thoroughly enjoys what he does and it shows. “I love that I am carrying on with the family tradition. I want to make my family happy – and I touch so many peoples lives through my work. I’m always working on no less than 4 projects with help and teamwork with my father and brother (Joseph & Sons) completing around 20-40 projects a year. For residential and commercial, interior & exterior. Simply carrying family tradition. His family aims to reinvent the medium one mosaic piece at a time.
When Jonathan isn’t working on his art, he’s a dedicated employee at Bauformat German Kitchen Cabinetry (bauformatusa.com) in Glendale. He works there as you guessed it! A tile installer. Inevitably, he wants to learn how to place his mosaics in walls which is a long-term goal.