Caleb Cooper began painting about a year ago and enjoys creating surrealist art. His art is featured at J.C. Morgan Art Gallery in Oxford. The gallery will host an art camp for children ages 6-16 on June 4-8. Activities will include clay building, drawing, painting and pottery. Weeklong or daily passes for the art camp can be purchased through jcmorganartgallery.com.
Are you originally from the Anniston area?
I was born in Talladega, raised in Chandler Springs, then moved to Lincoln, Oxford, and now I have just moved back to Chandler Springs. I work at the arcade in the mall.
What creative arts do you specialize in?
I got into theater first, back in 2012, and I just started painting last year. But I have been interested in art my entire life. My mom was a painter, and my grandfather also did paintings.
What made you start painting?
About 14 months ago, I was smoking on my back porch, and I just jumped because I had a moment of inspiration. I tossed my cigarette, went inside and started painting. I have been painting ever since.
What was that first painting?
It was a bridge going off into the center of the painting and a beam of light shooting up from that. There was a stone walk into hell and a beam of light into heaven.
How would you categorize your art stylistically?
Most of my pieces are surreal, and some are realistic.
What makes art surreal?
I believe the definition would be “twisted reality.”
Tell us about some of your pieces here.
This one is a Leo — the constellation — with a lion on the constellation. I made this one because I was born in August, making me a Leo, so I wanted to do something with the zodiac sign. The second one here is a mountain and a dying tree with some sort of aperture looking at the city and mountains.
What piece are you most proud of?
This one [indicates a small painting of a human eye]. This piece is the most realistic one that I have done so far. I worked on shading and made it look like there is an actual face behind the eye.
Is this a specific person’s eye?
It is my eye.
Do you take commissions?
Yes, if you go to my Facebook group “smudged art’s” you can contact me through that group.
What are you passionate about?
I want to create. I want to make as many paintings as I can. I want to produce and act in movies. I want to do everything in the arts.
What do you want to take up next?
Either writing or playing an instrument.
What draws you to those arts?
With writing I could create an entire world, and with music I could create something pleasant to the ear that people can listen to and enjoy.
Faith Dorn is a freelance writer in Anniston. Contact her at email@example.com.