Jarryd Cooper is a young painter of exceptional promise. A recent graduand of RMIT Fine Art (Hons), Jarryd has just been awarded the prestigious Leipzig International Art Programme Residency, which he will undertake this year.
Cooper’s imagery springs from a kind of stream-of-consciousness approach, whereby objects emerge or become subsumed by subsequent pictorial arrivals. In each of the paintings we can see the artistic skirmish, as each element strives for dominance, or is swept aside by more urgent gestures as the paintings take shape.
In his work, there is often also a tension between purely abstract passages and imagery; Various elements come forward in Cooper’s picture planes, or else are covered over as the whim takes him. It is as if the artist is guided by the paintings as much as he guides them into being. The artist has an acute spatial understanding which is exceptional in a young painter - is this a landscape that we are looking at, or an enclosed space? Perhaps it is both at once. There is also evident a very inventive playful use of the various objects that populate his work – is that smoke, or steam, or water? Are they solid things that we see rising, falling and tumbling, or ghostly phantoms of half-remembered dreams?
Cooper’s sense of colour is finely attuned and playful – at times working as a flat screen behind the action, and at others powerfully denoting chunky, three-dimensional blocks, or structures which crowd the pictorial spaces.
The artist cites a broad range of artists as influences: from Hokusai, to Sue Williams, to Neo Rauch.