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Brush strokes, snapshots, and beyond

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Aiden On Top of the World
  • David Cook
  • Aiden On Top of the World

I'm standing outside the gallery space where David Cook shows art (a couple doors west of Forty-Five Degrees, located at 765 Massachusetts Avenue) when a clearly-drunk guy ambles by. He says unkind things about some of the art (which he later retracts) and the restaurant, not realizing Cook's connection to either place. The man is allegedly an artist and borrows a pen to write down his contact information for the unflappable Cook, who says encouraging things about being in touch for future exhibitions. With that kind of aplomb, I can see Cook going far in the art world.

Untitled by David Cook
  • Untitled by David Cook

Cook is a self-taught artist whose work includes photography, painting, and sculpture. He recently showed one of his paintings in Chicago and has set his sights on taking his art “everywhere.” Cook had photos he wanted people to see and contacted various galleries but wasn’t interested in putting someone else in control of his work. He spoke with Shannon Linker, Director of Artist Services with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, who told him about First Friday events. Forty-Five Degrees is now one of the stops on the monthly tour and proves to be an excellent venue. Exhibiting at the restaurant gives the work a new audience; it takes away the stuffy feeling at some galleries where it’s déclassé to ask how much the work costs. The availability of tasty martinis (try the pomegranate) certainly doesn’t hurt.

Not surprisingly, Cook won’t work with anyone whose work he doesn’t like. The tour he takes me on includes portraits by Lobyn Hamilton, a DJ whose portraits of musicians like Michael Jackson and Jimi Hendrix are made from broken pieces of vinyl records, and photographer Cody Holliday, who is now based in Austin, TX. Stay tuned as Cook — who is inspired by “lines, forms, symmetry, chaos, and women” — continues sharing his vision with Indy.

A photograph by David Cook
  • A photograph by David Cook

Learn more about Cook and soli deo gallery via the indyarts.org artist database.

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