Robert Cohen is a photographer from New York. He’s working on a project of portraits of child Muay Thai fighters and he came by Phetchrungruang and O. Meekhun in Pattaya to get some images of the kids. He got some really cool shots of the kids I see every day and then headed up to Isaan to visit some gyms up there; you can check out the pictures of the boys I train with and Phetjee Jaa at his website RobertCohen.com under the tab “Little Tigers,” which is the name of his project.
The above image is a portrait he took of me one morning while I was hitting the bag at the gym. His direction was very simple, “just look like you’re hanging out,” no fight face or posing. I don’t pose well, so this was a relief to not have to try to channel “blue steel” or whatever. If you’d asked me what I thought the roll (hahaha, look how old I am, calling it a “roll” when it’s digital) looked like I wouldn’t have described this picture. That’s a good thing though, as I absolutely love the shot. There’s something about the posture and face that I wouldn’t have guessed, but that I feel expresses me in a strong way. It’s easy to look at photos of oneself and think, “God, is that what I look like?” Or to not recognize oneself. This portrait is a portrayal of how I feel, so I’m pleased that it collapses the inward experience and the outward aesthetic. It captures the gym, too. On Facebook, when I shared the picture, James Gregory put it very well in his comment, “Everything is simultaneously sharp and gritty.”
You can find Robert Cohen in the below:
I’ve always loved Woverine: