Thursday, June 14, 2001

Justin Cooper - The Monon Coffee Company - June 14, 2001- 4 stars

Fourteen works from a 22-piece series depicting Mayan gods of thunder and rain, maize and the merchant are the latest creations from Justin Cooper. The square and diamond-textured acrylic paintings are hung together, as if they were one large piece, along the coffee shop wall. Cooper's signature subject - soft and stoic, fluid, nude women - strike kneeling, lounging and standing poses suggesting bas-relief plaques from Chiapas or Copan, while still retaining his very distinctive modern look. Random Mayan numeral symbology surrounds the blue (thunder and rain), red (maize), and grey (merchant) women and compliments Cooper's elemental patterned style, creating a fantasy world with a new cosmology. Layers of paint build up the surfaces in small strokes over rich gold underpainting, illuminating the pieces and giving them a depth that glows and shimmers under the low light of the Monon. Through June 30, 2001; 317-255-0510. - Mary Lee Pappas

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