Boston artist completes new public artwork



Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper, a visual artist from a young age, has recently completed a colorful, vibrant public artwork in Boston in her unique art style; a contrast to the modernism-focused art world of today.

From the moment she picked up a paintbrush in Jamaica, Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper knew that, in some way, she would make art a part of her life forever.

Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper is a visual artist living in Boston. Born and raised in Jamaica, she began painting at a young age. She has painted in various places including Egypt, India and around the United States. Recently, paintings from Dassardo-Cooper’s “Transcending Time” series have been displayed publicly in Boston. Dassardo-Cooper has remained true to her unique style in an art world focused on modernism.

Dassardo-Cooperwas young, she saw her brother painting in watercolor for a school assignment and decided she wanted to paint as well.

“I was quite fascinated by the fact that you could paint whole worlds on paper. So I bothered him until he finally allowed me to paint,” Dassardo-Cooper said. “That was the beginning of my journey.”

After moving to the United States as a young adult, Dassardo-Cooper sought out an education in art. By then, she had already chosen a career.

“I came here in my last year of high school from Jamaica. I always thought that I was going to be an artist. I didn’t know any artists, really, I just knew that was what my life’s purpose was,” Dassardo-Cooper said.

Around her, Dassardo-Cooper witnessed classmates choosing a path of art that many others were following. Observing the culture of artists around her, she realized that her interests were different from most.

“At the time that I went to art school, there was an entire generation focused on modernism and contemporary art. It also had to do more with ideas about art than actual art,” Dassardo-Cooper said. “My big disappointment was not learning the skills that I expected to learn. In a large sense, I feel like I am self taught, because I had to go out, study, learn, experiment and play with the artwork to get the effects I wanted.”

Dassardo-Cooper discovered her preferred style of art, overlapping images, through experimentation.

“I’ve continued to be fascinated by creating worlds on paper. Sometimes, these worlds overlap, and before Photoshop, it seemed to me that there were various levels of beingness in my paintings. I would create art that looked like it was photoshopped in one image over another,” she said.

Since her career began, Dassardo-Cooper has painted internationally, including in Egypt.
“[The paintings] were created with past images from the tombs and temples of Egypt. I took them and juxtaposed them with photos that I took of street scenes of Cairo, showing that overlap of multi-dimensional time and space in a sense. That’s why those were called Transcending,” Dassardo-Cooper said.

Dassardo-Cooper’s time in India played a role in her series of paintings called “Veiled Presence.”

“The identity [of the subjects] is seen more as a dress, no faces, just their backs,” Dassardo-Cooper said. “I really felt like I didn’t want to show faces because I wanted these women to be anonymous. Part of that was, when I lived in India, it was a very gender-separated society at the time. Not so much now, but I really felt like the women, even though they’re anonymous, their clothing is very colorful and flamboyant,” Dassardo-Cooper said.

Dassardo-Cooper said that in one of her art pieces, the image of the subjects’ arms came from her conscious.

“The series of two paintings that I just finished there were women, but you could see the different brushstrokes and it seemed like their arms. Their arms were raised, but then they had multiple arms, and then they were more like palm trees waving,” Dassardo-Cooper said. “Some things become part of my consciousness. When looking at those paintings, I realize that as a child in Jamaica, I just loved to sit and watch the palm trees dance.”

To this day, Dassardo-Cooper said she remains the artist she is by making paintings that are true to her style, not the trends of other artists.

“I think the marketplace is entirely overrated for deciding what is good art,” Dassardo-Cooper said. “And I really think to be authentic to my work I need to ignore the marketplace and just focus on what I feel is authentic to me.”

Cooper’s art is influenced by her life and childhood experiences. (CONTRIBUTED BY LUCILDA DASSARDO-COOPER)