Alika Cooper, Cherried, 2011, collaged fabric, stretcher bars, 16 x 20".

Alika Cooper

Eleanor Harwood Gallery

Alika Cooper, Cherried, 2011, collaged fabric, stretcher bars, 16 x 20".

In LA’s textile district, acres of warehouse space are packed with bolts of fabric shoulder to shoulder in rotund cylinders and flatboarded stacks. Three, four, five deep, they quietly rub against one another—satin sliding against royal velvet brushing cottons rough and fine; patterns of interlocking diamonds and pulsating paisleys clashing with fields of tiny flowers splayed across expanses of beige, for a grand optical performance. Taken at once, this heterogeneous mélange hints at the infinitude of combinatorial possibility. In this spirit, Los Angeles–based artist Alika Cooper rearticulates the photographic form via a kind of “painting” as craft, layering textiles into compositions of landscapes and bodies. Though the handling of fabric usually belongs to the soft domain of women’s work, Cooper’s images are sourced from compositionally assertive photos shot by men.

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