Beyond the White Cube: Alika Cooper. Painter, Mixed-Media Artist.

I stopped by Alika Cooper’s studio last week to catch up.

Turns out she’s been very busy! With two gallery shows opening in the fall, her studio was full of work she’d just finished.  She was kind enough to answer a few questions and let us have a peek at her new series, for which she drew from different sources of inspiration like Helmut Newton, Jean-Claude Brassai, Paris showgirls and American quilting….

Yasmine Mohseni (YM): Why did you become an artist?

Alika Cooper (AC): I was intrigued by drawing and painting from a young age but it wasn’t until college that it occurred to me that it was something you could pursue in life. During my first semester at the University of Oregon, I remember looking through all the possible classes you could take, and all I wanted to take was art and art history.  I’ve never looked back since.  

YM: Describe your style 

AC: I’ve recently transitioned from working in gouache and oil to making paintings using fabrics and upholstery, cutting and pasting them on the surface to create abstracted imagery.

YM: Which artists have inspired you the most?

AC: Matisse, Egon Schiele, Vuillard, Luc Tuymans, Nan Goldin, Christina Ramberg

YM: What inspires you?

AC: California history, John Steinbeck, Nina Simone, Ingmar Bergman

YM: Which artist, living or dead, do you most admire

AC: British painter, Gwen John

YM: what do you love most about being an artist?

AC: the challenge of carving out your own path

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