Artist of the Week: James Cooper

James Cooper is a artist based in Bermuda. His work is sculpture and performance-based, but lives mostly as photographs and video.*

How has living/working in Bermuda effected your art practice?  Living in Bermuda has shaped my work profoundly. I work a lot underwater and also the way I work is basically to take readily available “everyday” objects and make sculptures or videos with them. So wherever I am physically usually ends up in my work.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on?  Right now I am working on some “shark art” for a show I have here in Bermuda later this summer. For the past few years I have been swimming with large Tiger sharks off Bermuda, and have been making art loosely related to this. For instance, I am making a video about feeding a model of Damien Hirst’s head, made out of ham, to a shark, as a sort of apology for his piece “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.”

What is one of the bigger challenges you’re struggling with these days?  I think there is a challenge for me to keep a sense of humor in my art, but at the same time make pieces that are also “serious.”

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now?  Right now my work is being influenced by my newborn twin boys!  They are serious time swallowers, but also incredibly inspiring.


What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like?  Like I said before, I will use all sorts of different materials, but I am very interested in using as little material as possible  for some reason. Also, I like the mix of very basic and very complicated things.  I am making a sculpture using a fiberglass pig and other discarded objects that will be a raft that I am attaching a satellite transmitter to. The pig will be floating around the Atlantic, “drawing” a line using a multimillion dollar satellite system miles above the earth.

What artists are you interested in right now?  I am a big fan of Gabriel Orozco, Miguel Calderon, Gelitin, and Florentijn Hofman, to name just a couple.

What do you do when you’re not working on art?  When I am not making art, I am surfing, changing diapers or sleeping.

What are you really excited about right now?  I am excited by the “YouTube Play” project.  I think it’s a great idea.

What are your favorite or most visited websites and why? I have been looking at Kathy Grayson’s blog “Art from Behind.”  It’s sort of captivating, although I don’t usually like any of the art on it.  I like VVORK  just for the range of interesting pieces. It reminds me how much art is being made in the world.

What are your plans for the next year? My plan for the next year is to become world famous, and also not be eaten by any sharks.
*Bio from