Scott J Cooper is a painter originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied art at the University of Oregon and started his career designing skateboard graphics and editing skate videos for Thrasher Magazine before he began to focus on his own art. Now he lives and works in Aarhus, Denmark, and the Danish culture and 20th century modernist figurative painters, has influenced his painted work. Still life and the female figure are common themes in his work, an homage to a classic painting tradition but with a new approach. Abstract patterns, bold colours, and seductive realism play together in the same composition. Cooper’s work has been showcased internationally in Europe and in the US.
Cooper has participated in Trailerpark Amsterdam, Trailerpark Festival 2015 and
Horsens Public Art where he has done murals of female figures.
Conversation with Scott Cooper
Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I'm from California, the bay area or Silicon Valley as many would call it. But I moved to Denmark in 2013 and have since moved from Copenhagen to Aarhus.
When did you become an artist and what was your first project?
I've been interested in art since I was little. I've always been an artist I guess. But I think started taking it seriously when I moved to DK and started fresh in a new environment.
Did you study art in school, if so where?
I studied art and printmaking at the University of Oregon. I did a lot of etchings and woodblock prints at the time. That background in printmaking has informed the way I paint now - paper based and requires a lot of planning and craft.
What inspires you? Any particular artists?
Scandinavian painters these days like Tal R and Edvard Munch. I try to keep up with a lot of contemporary painters who I think are cool and see what they're producing. Seeing what they are doing motivates me.
What are some of the ideas behind your work?
I'm interested in figurative painting and abstraction, so my work tends to be a blend of the two. Using the human figure as a motif has been present throughout art history and I think it's still relevant today. Abstraction reduces all the artists experiences into simple aesthetic elements like shape, color, texture, and composition. By using recognizable forms like the human figure you can draw the viewer in to a painting, but on closer inspection the image can disassemble and give way to much more than what first meets the eye.