Like it or not, Coop is a big part of today’s car culture. His devil girl art work and the stickers that resulted are currently going through the “so common they are cliche” phase as they work their way to their eventual spot on the pop culture list of things that started this mess. Coop could very well be our era’s Big Daddy… Time will tell.
I don’t know Coop. Although I think I once stood in a concession line with him at the Rat Fink Reunion, I’ve never been introduced to him in any way, shape or form. That said, I’ve seen more of his stickers on various degrees of “hot rods” than I ever want to recall. It’s the cars that I always found those stickers on that created a mental association for me. The Coop thing just didn’t work for me… It was out there. It was grand. It was flashy. It just wasn’t my style.
Two things changed the way I think about Coop. The first happened a while ago and actually predates the sticker phenom. During the Von Dutch tribute era of low brow auto art, Coop released his rendition of Von Dutch complete with striping brushes sticking out of the mad man’s ears. I fell in love with it and bought a print instantly. I can’t explain why and I think that is a good thing… It’s still one of my favorite pieces of art.
The second happened more recently. Coop started a blog. His daily ramblings covering shit from his garage sale finds to the step-by-step painting process he follows has given me an absolute appreciation for a guy I don’t know. He’s not the guy in a top hat selling his devil stickers at every hot rod corner in America. He is just a real eccentric car guy. I can dig that.