As an extensive and poignantly timely evolution from “The Lamar Series” and “Images of Contemporary Rural America”, Coen has began documenting the American migrant worker. These workers are responsible for supplying much of the produce found in our co-ops, supermarkets and restaurants, yet there exists very little connection between the consumer and these vibrant people who work and harvest by hand. Coen traveled extensively throughout the nation, meeting, photographing and ultimately painting this culture of people and the landscapes they work within. This new riveting series of large-scale canvases capture the lives and spirit of America’s contemporary migrant workers and can only be truly experienced in person.
Coen’s goal of the “Migrant Series” is to raise the consciousness of America to this very overlooked yet vital part of our society and to give the migrant workers an identity and voice through his paintings. Like “The Lamar Series”, this new work portrays the dualities of the spirits and worlds we often drive by or do not care to notice or research. Exposing the spirit of America’s migratory labor and the human spirit, Coen’s work inspires us to take notice, to respond and to care about these incredible people, their lives, and contributions to our society.
The potential and power of the series to raise the consciousness of Americans is hard to imagine, and it relevance to the political climate we live in is poignant. The time to introduce this work on a large scale is now, and Coen is working with several museums planning an initial museum exhibition followed by a national and international tour.