Koplin Del Rio is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition of work by emerging artist Melissa Cooke.
Based in Madison, Wisconsin and a recent MFA graduate of the University of Wisconsin, this will be Cooke’s first major gallery solo exhibition. Her powdered graphite on paper works explore themes of beauty, fantasy, violence, vulnerability and identity, with the artist casting herself as subject in a myriad of thematic scenarios. You Know Me Better Than I Know Myself explores the latent darkness and sexuality inside all of us. Cooke employs props, costumes and theatrics in order to provoke the dormant aspects of her identity. Indulging in typecasts of the artist as she draws and explores the characters, Cooke strides to internalize the expectations put forth by popular culture. Her desire is to understand the interplay of emotional instincts within relationships. The starting point for the work is derived from a real memory or truth, but the emotions become exaggerated during the artistic process. Reality is increasingly skewed by imagination; fiction becomes truth.
Melissa Cooke earned an MFA in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin. An ardent social activist, Cooke has received fellowships in support of raising awareness about environmental issues through her artwork, including the 2006 Paradise Lost Fellowship and the 2004 Wisconsin Idea Undergraduate Fellowship. She has been awarded numerous scholarships and grants, including most recently a BLINK Grant for her public art project / performance art piece, “Dress Up Wednesdays”. Her work resides in the esteemed collection of the Arkansas Art Center.
For further information or photos, please contact Ronald De Angelis at (310) 836-9055.