Photographer Rich Cook is a longtime art collector who buys work by San Diego artists as often as he can. His home looks more like an art gallery, his collection numbering in the hundreds.
“I love supporting artists,” he says. “It just irritates the shit out of me that people can go to clubs and drop hundreds on bottle service, but they can't drop a hundred bucks on a painting.”
Cook likes meeting artists and getting to know them personally before buying their work. His purchasing process has given him an idea for a show: Why not shoot photos of artists and show their portraits with their paintings, providing a quick introduction to the faces behind the work? From 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at eloS Shoes (3404 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights), Cook will bring that idea to life in a show featuring portraits of Jasmine Worth, Mike Maxwell, Lindy Ivey, Jimmy Ovadia, Steve Saiz, Kevin Peterson, Neko and NILO alongside their paintings.
Each portrait, Cook says, is inspired by the personality of the artist. He shot Maxwell in a Barrio Logan alleyway next to one of his murals, and he took Worth to Anza-Borrego Desert and shot a photo that matched the dark, surrealistic mood of her work.
“I've been wanting to photograph all these amazing artists for a long time,” Cook says.