Leegan Koo + Emma Black @ Copro Gallery

Looking for an event that will thoroughly pull you out of reality and into something a little dark and strange? Let’s face it: we can all do with a break from our daily stresses. So why not enjoy a little beauty and mischief when deciding how best put a little spark into your life! Starting with their VIP preview this Saturday (opening reception to follow next Saturday 13th August), Copro Gallery have just the dose of un-reality that you need. In one half of the gallery, Emma Black shares her latest series of paintings depicting mind-bending beauty of nature, with a darkly surreal amalgamation of funghi, human bodies, insects and flora taking centre stage. Simultaneously, Leegan Koo unveils his imaginative, more adult-version of New Kelp City, where the well-known residents of SpongeBob SquarePants are experiencing life quite like never before!

Leegan Koo: Once Upon A Time in New Kelp
Emma Black: The Devoured Myth

Copro Gallery

Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave, #T5, Santa Monica, CA 90404, United States

Phone: 310 829 2156

VIP Preview: Saturday, August 6, 2022 | 1:00 – 5:00 pm

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 13, 2022 | 4:00 – 8:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: August 6 – August, 2022

For more information, email Gallery Director, Gary Pressman at coprogallery@live.com or call 310-829-2156.

Press Release //

Leegan Koo: Once Upon A Time in New Kelp

“This series features different places and happenings in a newly imagined New Kelp City, the underwater metropolis from SpongeBob SquarePants. Growing up in big cities, I’ve always been fascinated by cityscapes and wanted to create my own city. Since my artworks often include SpongeBob characters, I wanted to use the name “New Kelp”. However, I’ve created a city built upon my imagination and the inspirations I got from the images of old New York City and Seattle. For this series, I focused mainly on a sort of micro-society of the planktons. They are like NYC’s rats to New Kelp City.”

Leegan Koo Bio //

Leegan was born in Seoul, Korea, and he began drawing and painting at a young age by himself. Growing up, Leegan Koo moved from one metropolitan city to another – Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City to name a few – and cultural diversity and experience of dynamic urban life became the major source of his artistic inspiration, along with jazz, hip-hop, and graffiti. In 2011, Leegan began to focus on painting cityscapes. This was a visual manifestation of memories and emotions he had attached to certain places, while experimenting with various styles of realism and surrealism.

In 2013, he moved to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art University where he received his first formal art education. In 2014, Leegan moved to Los Angeles and began his career as a freelance artist, while working part-time for art companies that specialize in producing and printing artworks for clients such as Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, and Z Gallery. He currently lives and works as a freelance artist in Bellingham, WA.

Catch of the Day
Kelp Bay Terminal Station

Emma Black: The Devoured Myth

The Devoured Myth is a series about loss and change, bringing together a collection of portraits and personal memories. Throughout the works is a contemplation of death and mortality, and an exploration of the relationship between new understandings and perceived identity.

Caught between life and death in an essential unreality, the figures in the paintings are in turmoil as they transform into new beings. The visible anatomy acts as a representation of, and simultaneous contortion, of the idea of true beauty being on the inside; contrasting with the unassuming pleasantness of the flora and fauna blooming on the surface.

The inaccuracies of their existence become intertwined into their identities, resulting in a hybrid of entities that aims to feels more akin to an object, in a process of self examination and objectification. Acting upon a sense of what could have been and the unlikely feelings of a new beginning, they serve as a tribute to the personal loss and grief of the world.

Let The Bad Parts In

Artist Statement //

Emma Black is a UK based artist. She graduated in 2012 from the University of Westminster with a First Class honours degree in Illustration, and in 2016 from the Cambridge School of Art with a MA in Fine Art. The unknown, whether an aspect of the physical world or a limitation of the human mind, is the main starting point for her work. Using traditional media and autobiographical themes, her practice explores notions of The Uncanny, human subconscious and our relationship to death and the natural world.

“During the planning and development of the series I experienced several forms of personal tragedy; sickness and hospital treatments for family members, the end of my 12-year relationship with my partner, and the sudden death of my father.” Emma shares. “The pieces were created alongside these events and are a reflection of dealing with these changes, and a processing of an altered identity in the face of multiple endings.”


About the Gallery //

The gallery, located at Bergamot Arts, is divided into two exhibition spaces, sometimes featuring a single artist but often two or three. Large group exhibitions are also featured often in conjunction with outside curators. In following with its original mission, Copro participates in International Art Fairs and curates outside exhibits to help promote their artists.

Focusing on museum quality installations showcasing emerging artists, Copro Gallery also exhibits many established and master painters. Placing works in private collections throughout the world, Copro strives to assist collectors new and experienced in building the most exciting collections possible.

Leegan Koo Social Media Accounts

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Emma Black Social Media Accounts

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Copro Gallery Social Media Accounts

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

About Author

Based in the UK, Natalia Joruk enjoys a life surrounded by art, nature, and curious trinkets. As Deputy Editor, she's worked closely with the Editor-in-Chief for over a decade, supporting with the design and growth of Beautiful Bizarre and the maintenance of the annual Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize. Natalia also oversees sponsor partnerships for the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, and distribution of the magazine, so drop her an email if you know someone who would like to sponsor or stock! She also writes for both the Beautiful Bizarre Magazine website and print publication. One of her favourite perks is getting to know artists, gallery owners and their teams personally, so feel free to email her if there is anything she can help you with – or just to connect.


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