Born 1966, New York, New York
Based in Berlin, Germany


New York Studio School, New York
Arts Students League, New York 

Assistant to Ralph Gibson 

Assistant to Larry Clark 

B.A. Oriental Studies, New York University, New York
University Honors Scholar 

Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan 


Pollock-Krasner Grant Fine Art Still Photography, 2021 

Thomas Cooke Award for Photography, 2004 


Jeff Cowen: Berlin Works, Fotografiska Stockholm, Sweden
Jeff Cowen: Provence Works, Huis Marseille – Museum voor Fotografie, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Jeff Cowen, solo show, WILLAS contemporary, Photo London, UK

Jeff Cowen, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia 

Jeff Cowen 30 Works, Museum of Modern Art, Tbilisi, Georgia
24 Works From The W-Series, Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf, Frankfurt, Germany 

Recent Work, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Cologne, Germany 

Jeff Cowen. Photoworks, Huis Marseille – Museum voor Fotografie, Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Jeff Cowen. Photoworks, Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany
Jeff Cowen. Sculpture Photographs, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Cologne, Germany
Capturing Eclipse, Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf, Frankfurt, Germany 

Recent Work, WILLAS Contemporary, Oslo, Norway
Capturing Eclipse, Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, Bremerhaven, Germany 

Landscapes, Kunstverein Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen, Germany
Jeff Cowen, VW (VeneKlasen/Werner), Berlin, Germany 

PHOTOGRAPHY, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Cologne, Germany 
Jeff Cowen, solo show, Paris Photo 2013, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Grand Palais, Paris

Jeff Cowen. Photographic works, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Cologne, Germany 

Jeff Cowen, Gallery Seine 51, Paris, France
Art Moscow special project: Insight, Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia

Scarab, Galerie Bernd Klüser, Munich, Germany

Jeff Cowen, Galerie Seine 51 Paris

Jeff Cowen, Galerie A34, Barcelona, Spain
Photo murals, Galerie Bernd Klüser, Munich, Germany

The Lotus-Eaters, Galerie Seine 51, Paris, France

1987-2004 Work, Galerie Seine 51, Paris, France

Shoot and Die, Galerie Seine 51, Paris, France


Women’s Work, New York Historical Society Museum, New York, USA

RETRATOS: Denise Colomb, Jeff Cowen, Robert Doisneau, Marc Trivier, Joan Vilatobà, i.a., Galeria A34, Barcelona, Spain 

The Lives and Loves of Images, Biennale for contemporary photography, curated by David Campany, Wilhelm-Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany
Heart: 100 Artists, 1 Mission, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany 

64 Art Works, Art Collection of The New School, New York, USA 

Picture Believer, The Glen Bjørnholt Collection, Oslo, Norway
Elèctric i llunyà, Collection olorVisual, Barcelona, Spain 

Scarlet Muse, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York
Look Again, Willas Contemporary, Oslo, Norway
Back to the Future of Photography, DZ BANK Collection, Frankfurt, Germany
Fotografies – Dibuixos, Gallery A34, Barcelona, Spain 

Marguerite, Gallery Seine 51, Paris, France 

Cowen, Minkkinen, Yamamoto, Blomqyist Kunsthandell, Oslo, Norway
Hängengeblieben – 25 Jahre Kunstverein Recklinghausen, Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen, Germany
The Marseillaise / fifteen years of collecting, Huis Marseille – Museum voor Fotografie, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jeff Cowen and Yamamoto Masao, Pug Gallery, Oslo, Norway 

Photoespana, Galerie Nieves Fernandez, Madrid, Spain

Fotografies, A34 Gallery, Barcelona, Spain

L’art et la guerre, La Filature, Mulhouse, France


Jeff Cowen (b. 1966) grew up on New York’s Upper West Side and graduated in Oriental Studies from New York University and Waseda University Tokyo. He moved in the late 1980s to the Meatpacking District in New York City and earned his living as a taxi cab driver. In his first series “West 14th Street”, he photographed the district’s transgender sex workers which was bought by the New York Historical Society for its permanent collection. Also during this period, he worked as an assistant to Larry Clark and Ralph Gibson, a time he used in order to familiarize himself with various darkroom techniques. In the 1990’s he studied academic drawing and painting at the Art Students League and the New York Studio School.

Cowen’s interest in poetry, aesthetics, and the non-visible world eventually led him to explore the conceptual, experimental terrain of black-and-white film photography. From a technical perspective, Cowen’s work explores the evolutionary potential of the photographic medium, which is, in his opinion, still a young art form. He has particularly been interested in mating the power of painting with the power of photography.

Jeff Cowen uses only analogue photography in a variety of negative formats from 35mm to 8 x 10. All the prints are made in his customised darkroom. The analogue image taken by the camera is not the final product, but marks only the starting point of the artistic reflection of the motif. The prints are attacked with various chemical procedures, mark-making, brushwork, and often contain post-darkroom finishing techniques of painting and collage. The images are not presented flat and take on a more three-dimensional, sculptural and textural look. One of his chief concerns in his art practice is to build on the rich history of the photographic past, and to explore and expand the limits of the medium. Following the attacks of 11, September 2001 he moved to Paris. In 2007 he relocated his studio to the Kreuzberg district of Berlin.

Jeff Cowen’s works are included in numerous public and private collections. In 2019, the private collection MAP from Bremen acquired a substantial body of Cowen’s work. His works have been shown in Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, Germany; DZ Bank Art Collection Frankfurt, Germany; Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany; Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia; among others.

In 2021, Jeff Cowen was nominated and awarded the Pollock Krasner Grant for Fine Art Still Photography. In 2024, Cowen will show his latest project, Provence Works at the Huis Marseille Museum for Photography in Amsterdam.