Cody Cooper has a solo exhibition, 06.01.20, at Wanderlife Gallery on view until June 26th. PhotoLounge partnered with Wanderlife and Cody to print this amazing show and we are so excited to see it come together. To give the community a little more background on the process of printing this show, we decided to interview Cody about the exhibition and his experience with getting his images printed.
PL: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What got you interested in photography?
Cody: Hip Hop and Fashion photography initially triggered my interest behind the camera. In college I wasn’t sure how to get involved in photographing subjects until I took a photojournalism course where I purchased my first camera. My journey with the camera helped me recognize that some of my favorite styles of arranging an image stems from high fashion photography and contemporary art. The first image I ever shot and published was a portrait of DMX performing at the 2017 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival (see image below). The portrait shows him taking a deep glance into the crowd after announcing a prayer to everyone who joined him that evening to see him perform. After I published the image, he and his team posted my portrait on his Instagram profile. I was then excited to discover that I found my career and life's passion.
PL: Tell us a bit about this collection of photos you are showing at Wanderlife Gallery? What is the inspiration behind the selection of images?
Cody: The digital photography series, “06.01.20,” represents the date of a nationwide racial justice movement, not seen since the American civil rights protests of the 1960’s. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, thousands of people join during a lethal pandemic for a day of protest in Asbury Park, NJ. In a country where demands on behalf of Black lives are unmet, our history is fragmented where we are treated as subhuman; even in the dark (of frustration, anger, and hopelessness) we remain lucid. Truthfully, there is no inspiration. There’s nothing inspirational about a black man being murdered. At that time I felt it was necessary to document my community in mourning and share it for the world to see since George Floyd's murder was also broadcasted for the world to see. Special thanks to Beth Dombkowski from Wanderlife Gallery for giving me the opportunity to show my work in its entirety.
PL: Before printing this show have you ever printed these images? How did you prepare them for print from your negatives?
Cody: The images, “Untitled 01” and “Untitled 02” (See images below) are the first images I printed with Photo Lounge from my digital photography series, “06.01.20” for last year’s Philadelphia Photo Festival.
Untitled 01 - 11x14 Premium Lustre Print
Untitled 02 - 12x18 Premium Lustre Print
PL: How did you decide on size vs/ quality, and what type of paper did you end up having PhotoLounge use to print your images? What do you like about the paper?
Cody: For the entire series I used a premium lustre print. Quality was my main concern. I wanted a print size that was thoughtful and powerful to the eye. It’s important for each print to be visually striking and cohesive for my audience to understand the magnitude of what was documented. My work is very emotionally driven and printing one image at 11 x 14 and the remaining eleven images at 12 x18 and 18 x 12, I felt was very uniformed and appropriate for my work.
PL: How does it feel to see your images printed?
Cody: The feeling is beautiful and very surreal to see all my images printed and framed. Cohesion is what really carries this body of work because it is an artful documentation of a community in mourning. The series is presented chronologically on how I shot the collection of images throughout that day of the protest. Special thanks to Sam and everyone at Photo Lounge as well as FrameWorks Studio & Gallery for helping me bring this body of work to life. My exhibit, “06.01.20” will be on display at the Wanderlife Gallery until June 26th; come join me at the Wanderlife Gallery, I will be present at the gallery every weekend until closing day!