Nicholas Alan Cope (1983) is one of those people born with a passion, and his is photography.
In 2002 he moved from Maryland to Los Angeles and, two years later, he began studying photography at Art Center College of Design.
Nowadays, his projects are both personal and commercial. It needs to be mentioned that Cope won numerous awards as well as inclusion in PDN’s 30 in 2011, and his first book “Whitewash” was released in mid-2013.
Whitewash (2006 – 2013), is a project that lasted for seven years, during which Cope went around his city, Los Angeles, trying to capture its magnificent beauty held not only in its architecture, but also in its stunning contrasts. Nicholas’ photographs suggest a unique vision of Los Angeles and focuses on the pure beauty and simplicity of the landscape.
The allure of these pictures lies in the uniformity of the buildings combined with the harshness of the light emphasizing the dramatic elegance of the architecture. “Whitewash – says Cope – is the visual story of LA’s uniquely conflicted soul.”
Cope involuntarily tempts the viewer to play a game, never stating explicitly the location of the buildings photographed, but always giving clues as the neighborhood, he invites us to discover LA and feel as part of the project. Vedas (2011), is an ongoing project of Cope in collaboration with Dustin Edward Arnold. They met in 2007 and started their first collaboration in late 2009. With this project, Cope moves from architecture and still-life to fashion photography, picturing sculptural garments of Arnold’s and his design. Veils that are metaphor for knowledge that expands certain values â€‹â€‹and it shrinks others. Here, the theme of knowledge is explored in the appearance of specific changes in the way of thinking due by the Copernican revolution, where the mankind lost its centric position in the Universe.
The outstanding use of black and white plays a central role in explicating the contrasts, and highlighting the enigmatic figures wrapped in veils, portrayed in a vaguely spiritual place crossed by light and darkness. Knowledge, Vedas in Sanskrit, is shown as a symbol of exchange of values, a beam of light, that illuminates but always leaves something in shadows.
Unusual still-lifes and geometric landscapes are all hallmarks of the American photographer who states that his aim is always “to present the subject directly and maintain visual clarity”. Looking at his works, and feeling a sense of neatness and unstable peace we can say he hit it right on the nail.