Art and how we understand it may be divided into two main areas, cognitive and psychoanalytical. Within the confines of this thesis, the discussion of cognitive concerns will focus on the origins and functions of artistic forms, and on media as complex channels within cognitive realms. The psychoanalytical concerns will be focussed on the process of creation, transcendence of self and artistic merit. The term an art in this study is referring to a narrow class of media – painting.
Cooke’s work combines painting conventions of the past with the illustrative styles of street art and children’s books to create obsessively detailed fictional scenes. His paintings move backwards and forwards between extremes, from details to dissolution painted with scientific accuracy.