What can’t you buy?

I am inspired by everyday life, by pop culture. By feelings of loneliness under bright lights and happy colors. By the feeling when you have to smile and pretend you are happy but you really just want to cry. By feelings of the vapid pop melody whose entertainment somehow leaves me empty yet fulfilled. We are so oversaturated with a culture of buying and selling that I just can’t stop thinking about the visuals of consumption.

I use photography, performance, and video to document consumer objects and culture. When I get the chance, I make environments that feel like pseudo-domestic retail spaces. These environments often confuse what we do for love or what we do for money, and if they are that different. My work is supersaturated. I think about using color powerfully and politically, just like merchandisers.

I look at the media messages around us, just really look at them. I take this approach to research to isolate the strangest bits of culture. We all notice how weird and uncomfortable the positions we put ourselves into, but rarely do we have a chance to reflect on the discomfort. As consumers, we’re never given tools or literacy to deal with this strange world we live in.

They always tell you not to judge a book by its cover, but doesn’t the cover function as a form of communication? I’m just so curious about the world and its surfaces — there are so many spectacular glossy surfaces, on objects and on people. I love to look at food and celebrity personalities and plastic packaging. It all seems so frivolous, but with a little inspection, it turns out everything is available on the surface.

Are your feelings for sale? Because sometimes I think mine are.


Newcastle, ME/Sydney, Australia

Born abroad, Coorain moved nearly 10 times in as many years growing up in America. Within all this “placelessness” there was refuge in thrift stores and in gardens. To really thrive, this artist needs to be surrounded by living growing things lush vegetable patches, songbirds, pets, and people. When not trying to support a more vibrant local ecosystem, Coorain has worked in three movie theaters, four libraries, and one small town garden center.


B.A. in Philosophy, Tufts University, Medford, MA, 2013

B.F.A. in Fine Art School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 2013