Thursday, 14 March 2013

Nicholas Alan Cope

A stark, mesmerising and sinister aesthetic is present in the work of Nicholas Alan Cope, a fiercely talented photographer based in LA. His work is the antithesis of most West Coast photography, which makes it all the more interesting - his architectural studies are pared down, minimal compositions of monochrome line and form, sometimes verging on total abstraction. In fact some of his work - the paper studies - are barely recognisable as photography. Then you see his deep, lush almost Romantic still life work, frequently done in collaboration with Dustin Edward Arnold (they have a thing for using their full names) which mixes sculpture, photography, chemistry and painting to stunning effect, which is something very different. With its deep, sombre tones and swirling, ambiguous forms - sometimes decomposing food, sometimes drowned flowers - their combined vision is striking and rich, like a mouldy, decaying Old Master found in an attic. 
Fascinating stuff, and when seen in conjunction with the starker black and white work, its clear that Cope has an arresting and unexpected imagination.

 All images © Nicholas Alan Cope