Melissa Cooke

Gallery Affiliations: Koplin Del Rio, Jenkins Johnson

Region: Midwest


City / State: Minneapolis, MN

My recent work fuses elements of realism with the language of contemporary art and street culture. The images are drawn from scenes I find 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 is captured. As in a collaboration with the city, my voice joins the layered conversation of street art and culture.

Fragments of paper and posters reference the flatness of drawing while alluding to the history of realism and trompe l’oeil. I explore the language of drawing by superimposing on traditional portraiture a wide variety of seemingly spontaneous and ephemeral marks. Suggestions of spray paint, stencils, and drips appear in the drawings. The illusionistic representation of graffiti dissolves into my brushwork and the materiality of graphite.