tintin cooper

S4 OCT-DEC 2019

Tintin Cooper grew up in several countries including the Thai side of the Golden Triangle.
She is currently based in Bangkok and Berlin. Recent events include solo show ‘Pool’ at Artist+Run Gallery, Bangkok (2018), finalist at Contemporary Visions 9 at Beers London (2019), with talks at Asian Culture Station in Chiang Mai, Thailand (2018) and Koppel Projects, London. 

Her appropriated video works have screened at Tate Britain, Transmediale Berlin and Gallery4A/Sydney Biennale and her artworks are in the Staedel Museum Frankfurt and DIB Bangkok Museum collections (Osatanukrau Collection).
Her works are often humorous and appropriate popular culture images and cartoon illustrations (such as football, martial arts, the army and war, yoga and pseudo-spirituality fads), which are then deconstructed in painting and mixed-media. 

In a way her work mirrors what happens to images more generally today, namely being morphed and altered and disseminated via mass media and the Internet. 


The idea for ‘Sunbathing(Lizards)’, 2019 started originally with a social media image of the Portuguese star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo sunbathing with his presumed boyfriend. I ran that through a Deep Dream-style neural network several times, and this resulted in all sorts of little animal-like faces and emojis appearing throughout the image, which I then drew out and transferred on to tiles. I really like this contrast between a very cutting edge technology like a neural network mixed with something very aesthetic and handmade, like traditional Portuguese tiles.  The image also straddles between two images (or more) as if you’ve paused a video between shots, showing a kind of transformation of the online image, which (in the case of a neural network that feeds in an archive of images) means an image can quickly go from heroic to humorous or just plain weird.

‘Work it Out’ (the smaller piece with diagonal red tiles) shows a masculine figure doing pushups (probably at the gym- another fixation of social media imagery).  Somehow the head facing down reminded me of the often showed image of evolution, where you see monkeys slowly lifting their head up and becoming men, but in this case it seems to have gone backwards.  

So there’s a cheeky little nod to this with the little cheeky monkeys in the background.
Being half Thai and having grown up in the sun, I find the Western obsession of “sunbathing” (at least in Northern Europe) hilarious- and this is the sentiment in ‘Moonbather’(2019) where there’s this male figure that seems to have forgotten to come in after a day of hardcore sunbathing.  I wanted to play around with more child-like ways of painting, and I remembered this technique where we would cover a layer of black wax crayon over colourful background and then carve out simple lines.  

Similarly, ‘Canoe’ (2019) also looked at child-like images- with the original drawing from an old comic spread.  But this eventually changed into a more apocalyptic version of the original.