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Painter Chance Cooper Brings 21st Century Struggle To Life With New Pieces Tackling Life’s Most Pressing Issues

Chance Cooper was born on February 21, 1991 in Los Angeles, California. Chance didn’t grow up hoping to become an artist. In fact, he never went to an esteemed art school or even took classes growing up. Instead, his now-highly acclaimed style developed out of the ebbs and flows of everyday life in the 21st century. All of the weird, wonderful and downright dirty fragments of the new millenia are wrapped up in his work, which has been displayed in galleries and collections across the world.
When asked what motivated him to start painting, Chance’s answer isn’t as straightforward as the typical artist-romantic. “I would say for me, my business created itself,” explains Chance. “I wasn’t motivated to start it. I never looked at painting as a business just because I loved doing it so much or couldn’t live without it. But then people started paying me more and more to do it. It always felt like they were being generous, giving me money just for bits of art. Then I drew up my first invoice and I was like, ‘oh, this is a business.’ Now I’m motivated to keep it.”
Despite Chance’s humble answer, he has since grown quite the following in the West Coast art scene. Chance’s pieces now hang in the homes of people like film director Nick Cassavetes, an early sponsor of Chance’s work. His paintings have graced the halls of several major galleries in LA, as well, drawing comparisons to artists like Keith Haring, the New York artist who so influenced the style of the 80’s with his plays on street art and Memphis Group squiggles. Yet these simple comparisons don’t capture the true scope of Chance’s work, as he builds a far more diverse portfolio than just wall pieces.
As I write, Chance is already in the process of building out his portfolio in a more accessible and dramatic way. “I’m currently putting together a series for a gallery show,” Chance shares. “As of now, the series highlights historical events of humanity. The events are portrayed through specific objects floating in space, creating a story that may or may not be recognizable at first. I’m also working on a children’s book for adults, breaching some of the thicker barriers between the world of fine arts and the everyday.”
As Chance has grown as an artist, so has his following. With a sizable presence on Instagram and his art in a number of galleries and collections, Chance hopes to begin flexing his artistic muscles and diving deeper into the cigarette-studded cartoon world of his imagination. Look past the poppy Haring-squiggles and you will find an entire world underneath Chance’s pieces; a world that knows the pain of social injustice, that responds when the world cries out and offers a new point of view, instead of just another desultory commentary.
In many ways, Chance sounds a lot like the many other young people struggling to get by in an ever-changing world full of evening-news negativity and everyday struggle. “At first you have to be more Macgyver than Bond,” Chance says. “Learn to solve problems in a scrappy way and get by. With that mentality, become absolutely obsessed with what you’re creating and the process it takes. All of a sudden you’ll look up and be like, ‘damn, I just did that… I’m here.’ Fear is meant to be overcome; that’s the whole point of it! That’s why it’s there. To make us feel more alive once we beat it.”
Chance’s inspiring words perhaps bely a greater understanding of this messed up world than many see on the surface. As his work gains traction and followers build, Chance’s ability to connect the quotidian with the spiritual, the adult with the childlike, and the weirdness with the rhythm of normal life has captured the feelings of a whole new generation in the art scene. Instead of drawing an idealized or fantasized version of life, Chance’s abstractions instead pull us closer to reality, and force us to confront what has been right under our noses all along.
As Chance puts it, sometimes success can be found in the simplest moments of life: “Making a discovery. Having an idea and creating it. Achieving a distant goal. Overcoming fear. Telling someone I love them. After all, being able to pay for good sushi.”
Follow Chance Cooper on Instagram or visit his website to discover his latest work and keep up to date with new shows and events.
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