David Cooley is a self taught artist who has been creating art and general nonsense since he was a youngster. The evolution of David’s work is a result of ongoing experimentation with different techniques and mediums such as acrylic, resin and fabric which has lead his work to become dimensional and highly textural with “spikes” of acrylic paint. These “spikes” of paint form geometric patterns and shapes and sometimes incorporate realistically rendered images creating depth, and striking optical illusions. David paints because he wants to contribute something good to humanity, whether it’s something beautiful, thought provoking and meaningful or just plain fun to look at.
Any general insight into your process you want to share?
The last couple pieces I’ve done have been a lot of fun for me. I was beginning to feel like my approach to my work was getting to be a little too formulaic and rigid. I really wanted to get looser with it somehow and not have such a preconceived idea going into each piece and just let things take shape naturally.
You work with a variety of mediums – Is there one in particular that influences the rest?
Not really, there’s kind of a balance between them all for the most part.
Does geometry and math play a role in your process?
Kind of, there’s obviously a lot geometry going on in my work, but by no means am I some kind of crazy math wiz. I’ve just gotten really good at being meticulous with measurements and angles, I should also probably to come to terms with the fact that I might have just wee bit of ocd…
What is currently influencing you?
I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books lately while I paint. Mostly Alan Watts, Haruki Murakami, Tom Robbins and I’m currently listening to a book on Biological Anthropology. I’m not sure how they actually influence my work, but I do think they can help during the really tedious parts of a painting.
Also time has been an influence lately, there’s nothing like a fast approaching deadline to get the creative juices flowing.
How has your process changed over time?
When I first started doing the textural spikes of paint about 8 years ago, I was only doing very simple square grid patterns. Then I started to play with vanishing points and more complex measurements and angles. I also started to experiment more with different hues of color, that’s when I really began to have fun with optical illusions and depth.
What are some of the responses you hear in regards to your work?
Most people seem to really like it, but sometimes I do get, “Oh wow, so you’re a digital artist!” which is understandable since most people are viewing my work online and there’s no denying that we’re all influenced by the digital world these days. I explain that it’s all done by hand and I don’t use a computer at all during the process, except for maybe reference material from time to time.
What is more important – content or technique?
I think they are both equally important. Although lately I feel my work has been more technique driven where as in the past it had a lot more symbolism and almost a narrative. I think it kind of ebbs and flows between the two.
Your work is very unique, what “style” would you consider it to be? Sculpture, mixed media, etc?
I’d say mixed media for sure. There is a tiny bit of a sculptural aspect to them but not really enough to call them sculptures. I’ve always struggled with describing my work to people. I kind of liked the term “spike-ism” that Andrew Hosner coined.