Kings of Concert Posters: Chris "Coop" Cooper

Devil is in the details for this renowned and rebellious "Lowbrow" artist
By Peter Lindblad

Steel Pole Bathtub 1995 Jabberjaw
Original Concert Poster
Silkscreen by Coop
To say the irreverent artist known as "Coop" – his real name is Chris Cooper – has a way with women is a massive understatement.

With devilish glee and an appreciation for bold colors and kitschy imagery, he seems to relish creating titillating scenes of scantily-clad, voluptuous women in lascivious poses, although he's also widely known for works featuring a smiling Satan chomping on a cigar.

In the forward to Coop's 2001 book "Devil's Advocate: The Art of Coop," Robert Williams writes, "Coop doesn't exploit the occult metaphysics of satanic malarkey. Why should he? This gifted wonderboy is the devil himself."

Those wanting to see more of Coop's art should hunt it down, seeing as how it boasts a treasure trove of reproductions of his posters and stickers and other assorted memorabilia. Or, to own one or more his pieces, which generally range in price from more than $100 to $500, check out

Born in Tulsa, Okla., in 1968, but now living in Los Angeles and working as a hot rod artist, Coop fashions himself as the "Insensitive Artiste." With a wicked sense of humor, Coop made his bones coming up doing ads and illustrating album covers for the similar-minded indie record label Sympathy for the Record Industry and its leader Long Gone John Mermis. Other artists whose work graced Sympathy for the Record Industry material included Williams, Todd Schorr and Mark Ryden.

Green Day The Riverdales 1995
Original Concert Poster Silkscreen
Art by Coop
Eventually, Coop made a connection with famed concert-poster artist Frank Kozik, whose influence on Coop's work is fairly evident, even as Coop developed his own unique style. Along the way, Coop became a go-to artist for some of the biggest alternative-rock acts of the '90s, doing posters for Green Day, Nirvana, Soundgarden, the Reverend Horton Heat, Lords of Acid and the Foo Fighters. Those signature "femme devils" he's so fond of are often seen on various stickers, usually plastered on cars. That, more than anything, has made Coop's art a cultural phenomenon.

Again, in that same forward, Williams writes, "It is with this kind of exposure that the name Coop has come to typify art for many people who like visual stimuli." Often, Coop is associated with the revolutionary visual art movement referred to as "Lowbrow," also called "pop surrealism," which exploded in the Los Angeles area near the tail end of the 1970s and is laced with a sardonic sense of humor that gained favor in underground comix, punk rock and hot-rod culture. And he is held in high esteem in the Kustom Kulture community.

In 2004, Coop released another book titled "The Big Fat One," which contains more than a thousand sketches. Another one, "Idle Hands," was published in 2012 by Baby Tattoo Books and is a collection of his fine art created between 2001 and 2012. For Hot Wheels fanatics, Coop recently collaborated with the toy car maker on a series of miniature "Coop-Customized" hot rods.

To get a taste of his style, here are some examples of Coop's work:

Unsane Steel Pole Bathtub
1995 Original Concert Poster
Silkscreen by Coop S/N

Go Nuts 1995 Jabberjaw Silkscreen
Art Concert Poster Original by Coop S/N

Gas Huffer Clawhammer 1996 The Whisky
Concert Poster Original by Coop S/N
Dave & Deke 1996 San Francisco
Kilowatt Original Concert Poster
Art by Coop

No comments:

Post a Comment