Alexander Cooper, a renowned and respected Jamaican artist, was born in Enfield (St. Mary) Kingston, Jamaica (West Indies) in 1934. His interest and love for painting began when watching his friends Ralph Campbell and Osmond Watson, two of Jamaica’s most outstanding artists, at work. An early student of the Jamaica School of the Arts, he graduated in 1959. Alexander also studied at the New York School of Visual Arts. He attended the Art Student League and was the recipient in 1962 and in 1964 of first prize in the Jamaica National Fine Arts Competition.
In 1965, a very controversial time in American history for people of African descent, Alexander was the first Jamaican artist to be invited to hold an art show at the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. In 1983, the Prime Minister of his Jamaican homeland recognized him for his Outstanding Contribution to the art world. His work has been displayed in exhibitions around the world, including New York, Mexico, Canada, London, and Germany. Alexander is well known for his love of displaying the richness and vibrancy of Jamaican life - its people, the landscape and moments in everyday life – as it is and as it used to be.
Over the past several years, Alexander has taken a hiatus from painting to embrace the Jamaican community, placing his efforts into helping young students advance themselves and assisting the community elders with their daily living and job assistance. While he did not host an exhibition during this period, he has stayed close to his art by fulfilling private requisitions for his work. Those who have had the benefit of enjoying his work during that time include American celebrities such as Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Angela Bassett. Jamaican banks, government offices and hotels have also privately commissioned Alexander’s work, which can be seen all over the island.
Alexander’s first public exhibition in nearly a decade was held in Jamaica in May 1999. The exhibition, entitled “Celebrating Mothers”, was a huge success with many Jamaicans thrilled to personally enjoy his talent once again. For Alexander, this show was especially personal in that it allowed him to express memories of his own mother who passed away ten years ago.
Alexander is “back and is stronger than ever”. The world will be pleased to embrace such a well-celebrated artist!