We had the good fortune of connecting with Chance Cooper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chance, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
When it came time to choose my career path I never knew what I wanted to do. I constantly was switching interests and trying to satisfy others along the way, but one thing in my life always stayed consistent and that was painting. When I first started I never really thought of it as a potential career, I was just fairly good at it. My friends would have me draw them stuff or paint on their shoes. Eventually that’s what I was known for around my family and friends. It dominated a lot of convos and my interest in art was subconsciously growing. Then social media hit the scene and I was seeing more art than I ever had. I noticed the opportunity that was out there and figured I should create an Instagram for my art. I only earned a couple hundred bucks here and there for a painting and was pretty much only paying for new supplies. I kept at it because it was really the only thing that made me happy. Painting opened up compartments in my mind that I never knew were there. The more I painted the more vulnerable I became to daily life. I looked at everyone and everything differently. I fell in love. Through time my portfolio grew and got better. One day I woke up to a DM from Nick Cassavetes, Hollywood film director, saying he loved my work and wanted to check out some pieces in person. That week I rolled up to his pad in the hills with a car full of paintings. He bought 4 with cash and I gave him 1 for free because it happened to be his birthday. When I left his home he smirked at me and said, “Make sure to send me a fucking invoice.” I hopped back in my old car with a wad of cash and knew this is what I wanted to do for a living.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Submerging myself in the art world has been the most challenging, exhilarating, and rewarding experience in my life thus far. You pour so much emotion into your work only to show it and have it either get embraced, brushed off, or worse, compared to another artist. To date my work has been related to Keith Haring here and there. At first it was frustrating because when I started painting I wasn’t familiar with his work and how influential he was worldwide. It was just the way I painted. Now I’ve learned to embrace it and not get hung up on discovering imagery fire in the art world. Nowadays it’s pretty much impossible to take a paint brush and paint to a canvas and do something no one has ever seen before. My goal now is to create a message and story that society is afraid to acknowledge. I like to paint characters in a setting that can be interpreted in multiple directions, it all depends on wherever your moral compass leads you. Often times people look at my work and the message seems straightforward, then I point out how you can read the words on the painting in a different tone and suddenly they’re on the side of the fence. I don’t often choose a political or social side in my work. I’m just here to highlight the moment at which a story has reached a fork in the road.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Playing tour guide during a pandemic is one difficult job, but if my best friend was visiting LA I would take him through Venice first. We’d grab some drinks at Waterfront and afterwards hit some restaurants on Abbot Kinney, probably Felix. I’d hope he’d insist on paying the bill since it was his first day in town. I’d then pray he didn’t think seeing Ben Affleck smoking cigs in public was possible, we all wish it was, but if he really wanted to see a celebrity I’d take him to Manhattan Beach to see Vince Vaughn drinking cocktails, walking around buzzed. This should go unsaid but if he wanted to go to Disneyland I’d dump him. In a perfect world we would be able to go to a Dodgers and Lakers game to get some city action and check off DTLA. Ultimately I’d funnel all of our adventures towards the beach cities. At the end of the day, if you want me to be completely honest, if my best friend came to LA he would already have a list of stuff he wanted to do and I would be the tourist.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to my #1 fan, my mother. She always has been supportive of my love for art and my ambition to jump into such a competitive and difficult field. Back when I was just getting started I frequently painted out of my bedroom at home. Between all of the holes I pounded into the walls and paint I spilled on the carpet, I must have drove her insane. I spent so much time snipping dried paint from the ground with scissors only to spill more. Even through all of my obnoxious behavior she would still hang my pieces around the house as a surprise for when I got back from a weekend trip. I’m not sure she knew most of those pieces at the time were about the afterlife, heartbreaks, and cocaine…but yeah, thanks mom!