Bart Cooper is a Los Angeles-based contemporary artist born and raised in Liberia. Already talented at a young age, Bart and his family fled to the United States, where he studied fine art, sculpture and graphic design. In his heartfelt edition for 1xRUN’s Black History Month series, Cooper portrays a young black child as innocent, young, peaceful, as he ought to be. Read our exclusive interview with the artist below.
1xRUN: Can you tell us a little bit about the piece, and what’s happening in this scene?Is there anything you would like to highlight about this image?
Bart Cooper: A narrative of a young male exercising his inner peace in the midst of the thick clouds while sitting next to a growing daisy.
1x: How did the idea and execution come about for this image?
Cooper: The idea simply came to balance the narrative of a young black male in a better light. Portray an image as a male who leans more on the side of peace than violence and rage.
1x: Why is it importantfor people to see this image on a stamp?
Cooper: This image is intended to bring a balance. That all Black boys aren’t violent.
1x: What is unique about this piece compared with your other work?
Cooper: Most of my work has a message and targets certain topics. Which is intended to speak to the individuals soul when they see my art. This piece sends a powerful message to the masses.
1x: If you could honor a historic African American with their own national holiday who would it be and why?
Cooper: There is so many that came to mind. The first one that came to mind was Malcolm X. Because I believe Malcolm was so necessary.
1x: If you could have dinner with any African American from past or present who would it be and why?
Cooper: Muhammad Ali. Because he is definitely my most influential person I look up to.
1x: How did you first get into art?
Cooper: I first got into art at the age of 3 years old. That was the first time I remember picking up a pencil. I have not put it down since.
1x: Did your parents or family approve/support you becoming a full time artist?
Cooper: To be honest I was raised in a African household. And art was not looked at as a profession or career. So there was not really much support in that department.
1x: What would you consider a dream collaboration?
Cooper: I’ve been in my own sort of lane for sometime now. I can’t really think of a dream collaboration at the moment. I would love to collaborate with any great brand that is in line with my journey.
1x: What artists inspire you now?
Cooper: So many has inspired me. From Da Vinci, Ernie Barnes to Norman Rockwell. Lately I have been studying Lawrence Alma-Tadema
1x: Any big shows or events coming up?
Cooper: I’m currently working on a new body of work that will be ready sometime mid year to go on display.
Follow Bart Cooper at @B_Art1.