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Ian Cooper (producer)

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Ian Cooper (born April 25, 1978) is an American film producer,[1] visual artist[2] and academic[3], best known for his collaborations[4] with Jordan Peele.

Early life and education[edit]

Cooper was born in New York, New York on April 25, 1978. He graduated from NYU with a Bachelor's of Science in Studio Art in 2000, and received a Master's of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the Milton Avery Graduate Program[5] at Bard College in 2017. Cooper married artist Rachel Foullon in 2008 and moved to Los Angeles is 2017.



In 2017, Cooper was brought on as the Creative Director[6] of Monkeypaw Productions, as well as becoming Jordan Peele's producing partner[7]. Since joining the company, Cooper has produced the following feature films: Peele's Us (2019 film); Nia DaCosta's Candyman (2021 film); and Peele's Nope (film).

Feature Films:


Us released March 22,2019, shattering box office records [8] with a $70.3 million debut. This was the highest opening for a horror film and the second highest domestic opening for a live-action original film ever.[9] Fans praised[10] Us for its multilayered plot and strong performance, and many reviews responded enthusiastically to the film's abundant metaphors.[11] Richard Brody, in a review for the New Yorker declared the film a "colossal cinematic achievement" with "vast range-geographical, dramatic, and intellectual."[12] During filming, Ian Cooper went to great lengths[13] to ensure key plot points weren't linked early, in one instance telling passersby that the crew was filming a Verizon commercial.


Despite the challenges of opening during a global pandemic, Candyman released on August 27, 2021 taking the No.1[14] slot in the domestic box office. Candyman was directed by |Nia DaCosta and set a record as the first box office number 1 film to be directed by a black woman.[15] Ian Cooper spoke highly about the unity of the cast and crew throughout the filming process.[16] Reviews of the film praised the writing[17], directing[18], and social critiques[19], with Peter Bradshaw, writing for the Guardian, calling it a "tasty confection of satire and scorn".[20]


While few details have been released about Monkeypaw's latest film Nope, the teaser announcement[21] included a released date of July 22,2022. It has been confirmed[22] that the cast will include Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yeun. Fans have already expressed excitement about the film.[22]

Visual art[edit]

Cooper has had solo exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad. His "mixed-media sculptures"[23] have been written about in The New York Times[24], Artforum[25], among others. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art[26] and the Pérez Art Museum.[27]

Cooper's art has been described as "obsessed with the dark side of adolescence and with how the transition from youth to adulthood is acted out in a variety of aesthetic statements."[25] Cooper's sculptures of "institutionalized surfaces"[28] "filtered through the aesthetics of his 1980s childhood, pervert the forms and features of K-12."[28] Works have featured references to ballet barres,[23] institutional projection screens, [23] and a "penetrated matador's cape."[23] Writing about his work, Artforum critic Alex Javonovich stated that Cooper's sculptures are "sensuous yet sterile" and "frantic and batty."[29]

Cooper's artistic style can be seen reflected in his film work, and themes and elements from his exhibiting art career have appeared in his contributions to films, including ballet barres[23] in scenes from Jordan Peele's Us.


Before entering the film world, Ian Cooper was on the sculpture faculty at New York University's Steinhardt School Department of Arts & Arts Professions from 2005 to 2017. Cooper also served as the lead faculty of the Senior Studio Program and was the program coordinator for the Senior Honors Studio program[30] across the first three years of its inception. During his tenure at NYU, Cooper co-created the NYU Curatorial Collaborative[3] which remains a capstone experience to the thesis program, as well as a cross-departmental program that unites a select group of curatorial graduate students from The Institute of Fine Art[31] with a group of jury-selected undergraduate visual artists from the Steinhardt Studio Art program. The initiative "fosters interdisciplinary teamwork that prepares both the artists and art historians for future projects in their respective fields"[32] and results in a series of exhibitions annually, held at the 80WSE Gallery.[33] Cooper also partnered with artist Sara Greenberger Rafferty to teach a Cartoon Logic[34] course at Michigan's Ox-Bow School of Art.[35][not in citation given]


  1. "Ian Cooper". IMDb.
  2. "Ian Cooper | Artist Overview | MutualArt".
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Senior Studio Program Coordinator".
  4. Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (1 April 2021). "Following Oscar Nomination For 'Minari', Steven Yeun Eyes Jordan Peele's New Film At Universal".
  5. "Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts". 22 September 2021 – via Wikipedia.
  6. "Monkeypaw Productions". Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  7. "Ian Cooper". Produced By Conference. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  8. "Jordan Peele's 'Us' shatters box office records with $70.3 million". NBC News.
  9. Surrey, Miles (25 March 2019). "'Us' Is Proof That Original Films Can Still Scare Up Box Office Numbers". The Ringer.
  10. "SPOILER: Here's How the Internet Is Reacting to Jordan Peele's 'Us'". HYPEBEAST. 22 March 2019.
  11. Dargis, Manohla (20 March 2019). "'Us' Review: Jordan Peele's Creepy Latest Turns a Funhouse Mirror on Us" – via
  12. Nast, Condé (23 March 2019). "Review: Jordan Peele's "Us" Is a Colossal Cinematic Achievement". The New Yorker.
  13. staff, T. H. R.; staff, T. H. R. (11 November 2019). "How Producers on 'Irishman,' 'Once Upon a Time' and 10 More Best Picture Contenders Overcame Their Biggest Challenges".
  14. Galuppo, Mia; Galuppo, Mia (29 August 2021). "Box Office: 'Candyman' Slashes Its Way to $22M Opening".
  15. updated, Corey Chichizola last (2 September 2021). "Candyman's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II And Teyonah Parris Thank Fans After Nia DaCosta's Movie Makes Box Office History". CINEMABLEND.
  16. "Candyman - Ian Cooper - producer" – via
  17. Nast, Condé (26 August 2021). ""Candyman," Reviewed: A Sequel That Cuts Far Deeper Than the Original". The New Yorker.
  18. Dargis, Manohla (26 August 2021). "'Candyman' Review: Who Can Take a Sunrise, Sprinkle It With Blood?" – via
  19. Gleiberman, Owen; Gleiberman, Owen (25 August 2021). "'Candyman' Review: A Slasher Movie with a Sharper Social Edge Than the Original".
  20. "Candyman review – BLM horror reboot is superb confection of satire and scorn". the Guardian. 25 August 2021.
  21. "Jordan Peele Unveils Next Horror Film 'Nope' With Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun".
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Jordan Peele's next movie will be called 'Nope'". NBC News.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 "IAN COOPER – OFF/OFF : HALSEY MCKAY GALLERY".
  24. Smith, Roberta (16 November 2001). "ART IN REVIEW; 'The Worst of Gordon Pym Continued'" – via
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Ian Cooper at CUE Art Foundation".
  26. "Whitney Museum of American Art".
  27. "PAMM | Pérez Art Museum Miami".
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Halsey McKay Gallery".
  30. "Mark Your Calendars! Upcoming Events at the IFA – IFAcontemporary".
  31. "The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU".
  35. "Ox-Bow". Ox-Bow.

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