Bermuda: The Surreal in James Cooper’s Photographs

In “Caught in a Dream: The Surreal Reality of James Cooper’s Photographs,” ARC Magazine recently featured Cooper’s breathtaking work. [Also see Bermuda’s James Cooper, Not Your Average Artist.] Here is an excerpt with a link to the full article, photos, and interview with the artist:

James Cooper is an artist who currently works in Bermuda. He attended the University of Virginia in the United States, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. He has been photographing for the past decade in Bermuda as well as internationally. Cooper’s work pushes reality into the fantastic using the lush tropical surroundings of Bermuda and the people who inhabit it. His early work is almost entirely underwater, in which figures are swimming with horse masks, or floating serenely over a coral bed while tied to a dozen red cubes. He also depicts his figures surrounded by billowing underwater clouds of sand, spray paint, or colored liquid.

Influenced by Japanese flower arrangements, called Ikebana, his above-water still-lives flirt with the fantastic just as much as they show off their mundane and everyday components; a still life of knives jutting out of an old shoe, a palm tree decorated with balloons, or coral wrapped in brightly colored string. Cooper’s most recent sculptural project in Haiti takes a minimalist and brightly colored aesthetic of lines and cubes and inserts them in the damaged buildings of Port Au Prince, literally re-building Haiti through art.

See Cooper’s stunning photos and full interview at

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