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(A portrait of the artist)
'A STUDY IN BLUE' 2002
MARTIN COOPER (born: Liverpool 1958) is best known to ‘Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’ fans as part of the original line up of the band. He and Malcolm Holmes made up the ‘core foursome’ along with founding fathers Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys. Despite a brief spell collaborating with Dave Hughes in the short-lived ‘Godot’, in the early days, Martin became an integral part of ‘OMD’ with his ability to adapt to numerous instruments - playing keyboards, saxophone and occasionally bass guitar. Martin also assisted in co-writing some of the band’s songs including the 1981 hit ‘Souvenir’.
Following the break up of 'OMD' in 1988 Paul Humphreys, Mal Holmes and Martin became ‘The Listening Pool’ releasing an album ‘Still Life’ (the cover art for which was one of Martin's own paintings) and two singles: 'Oil for the lamps of China' and 'Meant to be'. The group attained limited success in the UK and eventually ceased to exist with each member going off to pursue their interests elsewhere. Whilst Paul Humphreys and Malcolm Holmes continued to work in the music business, Martin decided to turn his attention to another of his many talents, that of painting.
Martin studied at the Laird School of Art in Birkenhead and then at the Sheffield College of Art where he obtained a 'First Class' Honours Degree in Fine Arts.
In recent years he has exhibited at the Williamson Art Gallery
(Birkenhead), the Royal Academy of Arts (London), the David Messum Fine Art
Gallery (London), W H Patterson (London), Woodhay Picture Gallery (Newbury),
Llewellyn Alexander (London), the Brian Sinfield Gallery (Compton Cassey
Galleries), Heritage House (Bermuda), Nancy Poole's Studio (Canada) and the
Gallery (Singapore). His
pictures hang in many private collections around the world. Recently he was awarded the sponsors prize in the "Discerning Eye" exhibition
which was held at The Mall Gallery in London.
Martin now lives in Greasby on Merseyside with his wife, Alexandra Bibby, a classical pianist and their two sons.
'A STUDY IN GREEN' 1999
This web page has only a fraction of the pictures that have been painted over the years but give a clear indication of the skill and 'eye for detail' that Martin possesses, as well as the obvious appeal to discerning Fine Art collectors around the world.
What is most striking is the almost 'photographic' quality of these compositions that can only be achieved by fully understanding the importance of subject, light and texture and being able to transfer it from reality onto canvas or board. It's a skill that requires infinite patience, years of learning as well as a natural artistic aptitude.
Being skilled in Music or Art is one thing but to combine the two, with such expertise, can only be admired and the respect Martin has gained through his music and/or paintings is richly deserved.
'JUST ONE TOMATO' 1996
An interview with the artist
you spent many years studying art, what are your qualifications?
I have a (first) BA HONS degree in Fine Art Painting.
Which Schools/Universities did you attend
to achieve this?
I attended the Laird School of Art, Wallasey College of Art and Sheffield City Polytechnic.
Which Artists/Schools of Art were you
interested in or influenced you most?
I like many painters but particularly Vermeer, Whistler, Degas, and a number of contemporary Dutch Painters.
Your work concentrates on still life
composition, have you painted any other style of art over the years?
I have been through many different phases before eventually finding my preferred medium and subject matter. I painted very large and very small pictures - often quite abstract and I was particularly fond at one stage of painting landscapes. These were extremely atmospheric and were often painted at dusk. This developed into painting atmospheric still- lifes and interiors and these were the start of what I am doing now. But my style is constantly evolving.
How do you compose your paintings? Do you
have any preconceived ideas as to what type of composition you want to paint?
I collect a few objects which have sparked my interest and start the long process of arranging them - bringing different elements in and out of the picture until I hopefully find a satisfying composition. I am particularly interested in shapes , texture and colour.
'STILL LIFE WITH CHINESE LANTERNS' 2002
How many paintings have you created and how
long does it take to complete one from start to finish?
I have probably painted in the region of a hundred paintings in the last 10 or 12 years. A painting will take at least a six weeks to complete.
Were you painting throughout your time in
I had very little time to paint while I was in OMD but I did do a few things and it was always my intention to return to it.
Who's idea was it to use one of your
paintings for the 'Still Life' album, and why that particular picture?
It just evolved. We had a track called 'Still-Life' and the painting was created during the time of writing the album so it seemed appropriate.
How does someone get to own one of your
People can buy my work through a couple of commercial galleries in England or abroad or from any show that I have entered. People can also contact me directly.
What's the most expensive painting you have
My paintings are currently selling through the galleries from between £2500 - £3300 . I believe a couple of paintings were sold in Singapore a number of years ago for double that!
'MEMORIES FOR JAMES' 1998
'BREAD AND CLEMENTINES'
Our unreserved thanks go to Martin Cooper for allowing 'Compiled' to publish this page and add yet another dimension to these ever-growing archives of information relating to OMD.
First published: 19th JANUARY 2004
For more information or any questions please use the 'Contact Us' link on the Navigation page.
Please note that the reproduction of any images here is forbidden without prior permission of Martin Cooper or the Compiled team.
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