Tino Cook is a Marine Veteran born in Elizabeth, New Jersey and raised in Linden and Roselle. In Linden High School Vocational, he took commercial art, staying in the creative field and graduated from Abraham Clark High School in Roselle, NJ. He put his artistic career on hold after going into the service. He regained his artistic feel in 1999 and in 2008 he attended Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey earning an Associate’s degree in Special Education and Art. He also lived in Newark for over 20 years, where he drew influence from his everyday life to create emotional and uplifting artwork. He claimed a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from Kean University in 2017, putting his artistic career on full blast. Humanity was always very important to him, facing prejudgment first hand. Tino brings light to the subject by creating an art theme around human rights and bringing awareness to it. His art is a reflection of himself and those with disabilities, gender inequality, and injustice of any kind. He specializes in oil painting,acrylic painting, woodcut, and 2D mediums and has built many canvases and frames from scratch.
Tino currently lives in Union, New Jersey surrounded by different people of all colors, ages, and identities. This is where he flourishes and can have the most room for creativity to flow right from his heart to the masterpiece he creates.
When George Floyd’s murder stunned the world, I stopped everything and became committed to this work because I knew the harassment, violence, and bloodshed was far from ending. My artwork is in direct response to the hypocrisy, disenfranchisement, and bloodshed of my people in the United States and around the world. I want to bring truth to how far we have come and the things we have achieved being under a foundation of slavery and terror. My artwork is part of my 99 piece Caged Bird series. I have participated in marches in the streets for accountability and demanding change in police abuse and inhumane government systems.
It is important to me to show humanity in my work and give an outlet of understanding to my perspective of what that means to me.
We march for Justice.
“Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Power to the people.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.