"Church at Rancho de Taos"
H:23 x W:30
Ruffin Cooper was a short wiry fellow with long red body hair and a close-cropped bearded face that resemble those faces carved from coconuts. When his brother was killed in the Viet Nam War, he left Ruffin with his Nikon camera. Ruffin tried taking modeling shots with little success.
He began taking minimalist architectural photos of various well-known buildings. His first major work was the East/West Series - about 15 shots each of the Golden Gate Bridge and The Statue of Liberty taken from a rented helicopter. Like his later works, they were generally monumental, static, but very well composed. (His license plate was IIIXIII
). He chose subjects that were familiar, uncontroversial and had a range of intense colors, Red-orange and blue for the Golden Gate and blue-green for the statue of liberty.
His poster-sized prints were in demand with interior decorators working on corporate offices. He also did commissioned portraits of public places such as Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. He produced a Personal Series of still-lifes (towels, coffee cups and such) taken in his minimalist home/studio on Telegraph Hill.
Ruffin generally used only natural light and did not do his own processing or printing.