Chicago’s Maurene Cooper Debuts Book Paint & Polish
March 23, 2017
Maurene Cooper, adjunct faculty, Media Arts, The Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago recently debuted her book Paint & Polish at a release party. The book captures the culture of Hispanic and African-American nail artists on the West Side of Chicago. Paint & Polish combines essays and oral histories with nail salon owners and artists with documentary-style portraits. Cooper captured the images for the book, written by Ryan Kenneth Blocker, Roula Seikaly, and Patricia Reed.
Cooper’s photographs explore the aesthetics of a local cultural economy. She describes the community as “mothers and daughters, connected by both birth and mentorship, who have found long-term financial stability through craftsmanship and entrepreneurship.” Cooper adds that she wanted to take photographs and tell the stories of the women. She adds that the stories define them individually and as a community—and are as unique as their custom nail designs.
Read more about the book and the coverage that it’s receiving:
Paint & Polish