American painter, Paul Cooley, first made a splash in the New York City graffiti scene in 2012 when the storefront of Louis Vuitton was vandalized. Cooley describes his work as autobiographical — with references to coping with his anxiety, depression, and previous struggles with addiction and homelessness. “The subject matter in my work pertains to acceptance which stems from my day to day struggles with darkness. Often times, the darkness comes out during my process only to get covered in layering, sort of like a battle unfolding on canvas. Usually I won’t stop painting until some form of hope arises.”
"This time is just full of unknown things. Unknowns are scary and exciting and hard to deal with all at once. It can be very good for us to experience scary and hard things because these are the experiences that teach us the most. If we are learning then we are alive. This is good for artists and musicians and every human really, if you can embrace it. Practicing acceptance is very useful for this time. We are not in control and if you accept it you can be free. For my work this time has helped me to focus on "me" more and for my paintings that is where it starts. I am excited for the future."
Paul Cooley New York City, April 27, 2020