(Please be patient while this page loads)

Martin Cooper

(A portrait of the artist)


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 Fel 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.


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.

Kevin Pretlove


An interview with the artist

Martin, 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.


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 OMD?
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 paintings?
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 sold?
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!






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.

Back to Navigation