I’m a big fan of ‘the arts’. You’ll often find me in galleries, local exhibitions and art shows, and whilst I don’t claim to know a great deal – you’d never call me an art critic! – I do love to draw inspiration from the endless variety of imagery and emotion that’s captured in these pieces.
I recently discovered the work of local artist Nigel Cooke whilst browsing Trinity Art Gallery and was instantly drawn in. Cooke’s style is unique and raw, focussing on urban paintings of New York, Paris and other major cities including those of Leeds especially commissioned for display in the gallery.
Born in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, Nigel Cooke joined the Merchant Navy after leaving school and subsequently held a number of jobs on the road to becoming a full-time artist. His career spans many disciplines, having worked as a caricaturist and character designer.
The motion created by his technique of adding layer upon layer of paint creates a strange chaos and grunge that is somehow tied together to create a rich and textured harmony.
The vibrant colours and paint splats really make his work come alive. From afar his paintings may look roughly rendered and preliminary (quite charming in itself), but as you get closer you see and appreciate the details.
You can find more of Cooke’s work here.