Cooper Salmon
March 23 – April 22, 2023
Reception: Thursday, March 23 | 4 to 6pm

An exhibition of paintings by Cooper Salmon in /room/, juried by Micki Meng and Nkiruka Oparah.

List of Works

Over and Over is an exhibition of paintings by Cooper Salmon. The artist paints people from his life and pictures from his past. He is drawn to private moments, even in public settings, where people reveal themselves and connect with one another. Several of the works in Over and Over feature the artist’s family members. Influenced by the animated TV shows he watched as a kid, Salmon paints in colorful layered shapes and quick and loose brushstrokes to create a cartoonish vernacular. For the artist, the marriage of tight and loose paint applications is significant because it is congruent with his current experience of sight: My right eye has a prominent cataract that renders everything as blurry forms while my left eye registers objects and people in sharp focus, resulting in a layered experience of simultaneous looseness and sharpness. My cataracts are symptomatic of an eye disease I live with called Retinitis Pigmentosa. RP has no cure and eventually I’ll be blind. While my disability presents challenges to how I live my life, it also drives me to make work. I am using what time I have with my remaining vision to pin down and freeze all these precious moments that make up my life.

Cooper Salmon earned a BFA in the Painting/Drawing program from California College of the Arts in 2019. He has worked for arts organizations such as the de Young Museum and Verge Center for the Arts to support and facilitate public and education programming. Cooper has also worked as a fine arts instructor at University of Memphis Middle School, where he received an award in innovation for his unique approach to classroom learning. In addition to his studio art practice, he has collaborated with Bay Area artists to realize mural projects at the Sunnyvale Facebook offices, The Living Room Plant Co, and the San Francisco Baking Institute. Cooper currently lives and works in Berkeley.