Melissa Cooke: No Place Like Home
Exhibition Dates: May 30 – July 11, 2015
Artist Remarks followed by Reception: Saturday, May 30, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm; Saturday: 11:00 am – 5:30 pm
Public Contact: 310-836-9055
Koplin Del Rio is pleased to announce its third solo exhibition of drawings by Melissa Cooke, “No Place Like Home.” The show features a collection of drawings in powdered graphite applied with a brush, that incorporate a myriad of images and influences. In lieu of casting herself as the main subject as she did in her prior series, the artist looks to found images of recognizable historical figures and cultural icons, as well as being directly inspired by contemporary street art and coincidental urban still lifes.
“No Place Like Home” fuses elements of realism with the language of contemporary art and street culture. The images are drawn from scenes I found in my daily life while walking the streets of Brooklyn. They are inspired by marks people have left on the city: discarded objects, wheatpaste posters, and graffiti. In the ever changing, gritty landscape of New York, one moment in time is captured. Like a collaboration with the city, my voice joins the layered conversation of street art and culture.
Fragments of paper and posters are depicted, referencing the flatness of drawing, while simultaneously alluding to the history of realism and tromp l’oeil. The works explore the language of drawing by superimposing traditional portraiture with a wide variety of seemingly spontaneous and ephemeral-style marks. Suggestions of spray paint, stencils, and drips are illustrated in the drawings. Illusionistic representation of graffiti dissolves into my brush work and the materiality of graphite.
The still lifes evoke the figure while hinting at a larger narrative. "Wig in the Weeds” was the first in this series, which was inspired by a long, curly wig that that I discovered amidst the dandelions. Like forensic evidence left at a crime scene, there is both an attraction and repulsion to these discarded objects. That tension and complexity continues to and inspire me and my work.-Melissa Cooke
Melissa Cooke earned an MFA in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin and lives and works in Minneapolis, MN. Her work has been featured nationally in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, Purdue University and Brenau University. Recent group exhibitions include The Yellowstone Art Museum, The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, NE, and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. Cooke has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including being selected as the Artist in Residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in 2011, a BLINK Grant award from the Madison Arts Commission, and a Wisconsin Idea Undergraduate Fellowship in 2004. Her work resides in the esteemed collection of the Arkansas Art Center, The Minnesota Museum of American Art, and the Wisconsin Union Permanent Art Collection.
For further information or photos, please contact Ronald De Angelis at (310) 836-9055.