Cooper & Gorfer consists of the artists Sarah Cooper (US, 1974) and Nina Gorfer, (Austria, 1979). The artist duo is known for their distinct painterly aesthetics and poetic hybrid image collages. Their work often revolves around issues of cultural identity and the genius loci, in search for the connection between people, story and place. Their imagery is often based on and a result of comprehensive research travels in close collaboration with the subjects they are portraying, with the photographers carefully directing their productions.
Cooper & Gorfer are photographers in origin but strive away from realistic representation. Using an advanced collage technique, they construct their photo-based works like paintings. They distort proportions and shift time and space, stage rigorously, and use stylized poses and gestures to break up the world into parts and rearrange them into an enigmatic and exaggerated ensemble. Like art history’s Mannerists, Pre-Raphaelites, or Surrealists, Cooper & Gorfer strain observable reality through a complex psychological filter of dreams, moods, fears and wounds, both their own and those they have encountered.
Cooper & Gorfer began their collaboration in 2006. They live and work in Gothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany.