Fresh Friday Finds: Caia Koopman

GreaseMonkey_CaiaKoopman
“Grease Monkey” Painting © Caia Koopman

I first discovered Santa Cruz artist Caia Koopman a few weeks after moving here in fall 2013. She was showing and selling some pieces at Rachael & Steve Caballero’s old Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery in Campbell. I even featured that “Gear Up” show in an old blog post on .stART here. Little did I know I’d become such a huge fan after seeing Koopman’s surrealistic masterpieces in person that night.

DreamEscape_CaiaKoopman
“Dream Escape” Painting © Caia Koopman

What I find so rad about Koopman’s work are the rich dreamscapes and activist themes. She even refers to herself as being an “artivist” on her Instagram (super clever!). The majority of her art features women exuding femininity juxtaposed with being badass, ready to kick ass and take names. Gorgeously woven into the portraits are animals, like hummingbirds, owls, dragons, and unicorns. I love the ethereal approach she takes on realistic issues, and I basically want to be or be friends with every woman she paints! All inspired by her enthusiasm for skate culture, punk rock roots, and love of animals – I feel like we’re kindred spirits.

let-me-out_CaiaKoopman.jpg
“Let Me Out” Painting © Caia Koopman
moonrise-owl_caiakoopman
“Moonrise Owl” Painting © Caia Koopman

I often see Koopman’s work displayed at restaurants and galleries all over town. I’d be stoked every time I could spot her art, recognizing the symbolic look and feel. The same unreal style seen in collections of Caia Koopman products, like shirts, leggings, jewelry, and more.

BubotheWiseOwl
❤ my new watch!

I always regretted not buying a print that night in Campbell. I must have gone back and forth, in and out of the shop, trying to decide which print and what size about five times. In the end, I walked away with nil. It’s now three years since I first saw those original Koopman’s, and I finally own one as of earlier this week. It’s not a painting but rather a more functional, wearable piece of Koopman art – a Bubo the Wise Owl Sport from Modify Watches. It’s so sick, and I’ve already gotten tons of compliments the few times I’ve rocked it. Can’t wait to add to my collection with a painting one of these days!

Caia Koopman has work featured in some upcoming group shows here in California. First, at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles opening on August 27 for their 10th Anniversary Exhibition and Femme to Femme Fatale: The Feminine in Contemporary Art show at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco opening September 17. Do yourself a favor, and visit caiakoopman.com to check out this Fresh Friday Finds!

Advertisements

Monday Funday: Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” at Seeing Things Gallery

I went to the opening night of Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” show at Jai Tanju‘s Seeing Things Gallery in San Jose this past Saturday. I checked out some rad art, met and congratulated Mountain, caught up with some dudes, and met the artist’s father and skateboard legend, Lance Mountain too. Somebody pinch me!

photo 4photo © Bernadette Cruz

Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” exhibits minimalism through a variety of works – from mixed media collages with typewritten messages and large scale paintings to framed photographs, screen prints, and paintings on canvas. His pieces go back to basics by showcasing familiar lines, shapes, primary colors, earth tones and splashes of metallic. This approach provides viewers with an accessible and unassuming window into Mountain’s abstract visual form of expression.

photo 3photo © Bernadette Cruz

I got the chance to see owner Jai Tanju again and reconnect with San Jose local skater Jason Adams. I hadn’t seen Adams since his NYC visit back in 2010 when we checked out his “American Boarders” portrait at Paul Rusconi‘s solo show at Upper East Side’s Stellan Holm Gallery, and then a couple months later at The Movement‘s fifth art party presented by Jersey’s own Sic Chix Production. I got to catch up with The Kid again, but now on this cool spring Saturday night on the west coast in San Jose – just over the hill from my new hood and home. After nearly six months out here, I still can’t believe this is my life!

seeingthingsgalleryphoto © Bernadette Cruz

Be sure to check out Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” at Seeing Things in San Jose if you find yourself in the South Bay these next few weeks. Visit http://www.seeinghthingsgallery.com for a full list of all artwork, pricing, and shows!