Barnett Cohen originally received formal theatrical training, with an emphasis on breath and vocal work, at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. He then embarked upon a career as a visual artist with an interest in multiple disciplines, employing a wide-range of media—sculpture, painting, video, installation, and performance—that collectively serve as meditations on the space between thought and the self and between the self and the body. His work has been exhibited at such venues as House of the Book (Los Angeles), 356 Mission (Los Angeles), Human Resources (Los Angeles), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), City Limits (Oakland), The International Center for Photography (New York), and La Galerie SEE Studio (Paris.) He received a B.A. in English literature from Vassar College, an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
He is currently in pre-production for two performances in Los Angeles in 2019, the first at the Richard Neutra House and the other at Pieter Performance Space. While in-residence at MacDowell, he developed a suite of small paintings and wrote a rough draft of a performance piece entitled Congrats And Condolences, which will premiere at the Neutra VDL House in Los Angeles in April 2019. In June of 2019, his paintings were included in a group show at JDJ in Garrison, New York.