Leegan Koo was born in Seoul, South Korea and began teaching himself to draw and paint at a young age.
He grew up moving from one American city to another—Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City, to name a few. Indeed, the cultural diversity and experience of dynamic urban life became the major source of his artistic inspiration, along with jazz, hip-hop, and street art.
In 2011, Leegan began to focus on painting cityscapes—a visual manifestation of memories and emotions attached to certain places he visited. With a mix of references, Koo's art elaborates the nuances of various styles of historical realism and surrealism, generating an imaginary that is poised between Hopper and Bellows and with a startling original and pop personal reinterpretation. His paintings depict mysterious and timeless scenarios where irony is frequently present as a symbol of the artist’s dual Korean and American identity, where Spongebob Squarepants is often placed alongside figures and environments of Asian origin. Since 2015, his artworks have been displayed all over the world in countless solo and group exhibitions. He exhibits for the first time with Dorothy Circus Gallery in 2020.