In the heart of Martin Cooper, you will find the essence of a man whose creative focus has propelled artists and designers throughout history. He is an accomplished clothing designer, fine artist and costumer. Three chapters, one life.
As a clothing designer, Cooper spent the last 16 years of his career as Vice President of Design for Burberry, where he oversaw the creation of the brand's calling card: rainwear and outerwear. In 2011, he was appointed Chief Creative Officer for BELSTAFF, another British heritage brand made famous for its iconic motorcycle gear. He is an active member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
As a fine artist, Cooper's photography has taken him into such diverse worlds as astronomy and ancient sport, always using the human form to express ideas that redefine the tradition of the genre. His photography has been both published and exhibited internationally, and heavily collected by the aficionados of the art and fashion worlds, including Beth Rudin Dewoody, Henry Buhl, The Polaroid Collections, The Columbia Museum of Art, David Mitchell, Andrew Lauren and Banana Republic. Most recently, Bergdorf Goodman, the preeminent retailer of "all things luxury," acquired numerous works that can be viewed on the store's second floor. Cooper is a member of the prestigious Royal Photographic Society in England.
As a costumer, Cooper's signature resembles contemporary clothing that utilizes both layered and transparent elements to reveal the structure of the human form beneath. Cooper began costuming when invited to collaborate with choreographer Kevin O'Day (Stuttgart Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project, New York City Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Pittsburgh Ballet, etc.) to costume To Have and To Hold, which premiered at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 1999. Later he costumed On the Spot for O'Day that premiered in 2000 on the stage of the Pittsburgh Ballet.
2001, Cooper had a fortuitous meeting with choreographer Rebecca Rice
of the Boston Ballet. She was so moved by the strength of his photographic
series, The Altis: Portraits of the Immortals (a body of work
loosely inspired by the ancient Olympic games), that she created a ballet
directly based on it. Cooper created an entire language of costumes
and interchangeable elements that work seamlessly back into the series
as fine art. The initial piece was set to 4 dancers and premiered at
the Boston Ballet with 4-story visual projections of images from the
series as the backdrop to the dance work.
|download PDF version (4MB)|