Fresh Friday Finds: Caia Koopman

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“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.

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“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.

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“Let Me Out” Painting © Caia Koopman
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“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.

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❤ 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!

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Refreshed and Renewed

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Photo © Bernadette Cruz

I’m baaaack! You know you missed me.

After more than a two year hiatus, it’s time to share more up and coming art, culture, and design I think is rad. I love writing about the arts, supporting artists and creatives whose passion for their crafts are undeniable, and inspiring people to be more creative. What prompted this resurrection you may ask? Well, I felt inspired!

I’ve been on The Master Cleanse for the past two weeks. (Today’s my last day! YAY!) It’s a super intense yet rewarding detox. A way to refresh and renew – body, mind, and soul. This year’s cleanse, my third year in a row, was even more necessary since I left my job in April and needed to clear my head from all that was. Out with the old, in with the new if you will. Not only was this experience an awesome boost for me physically, but the cleanse really helped me focus and totally envision where I see myself in the foreseeable future. So I thought, what better place than to .stART here.

I’m so stoked to cultivate more art, culture, and design through my lens with you. With an improved look, I’ll be bringing back all of your favorite features starting tomorrow with a brand spanking new Monday Funday, then more later in the week with some Hump Day Hot Seat, Thursday Three, and Fresh Friday Finds. Big kudos to all my awesome guests who have participated in the past and those still to come! Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned!

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein

Fresh Friday Finds: Seeing Things Gallery

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“Eat With Your Eyes,” says photographer Jai Tanju, co-owner of Seeing Things Gallery located in downtown San Jose with wife, Blanche Gonzalez. Oftentimes, that’s totally what happens there – a sense of visual nutrition, filled with inspiration and collective ideas. The gallery exhibits monthly solo and group shows, sells art, photo books, zines, tees, and totes.

Deadbeat Club: Field Trip

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I’ve been lucky enough to check out some really rad art these past few months now that I live and work nearby. From Lance Cyril Mountain’s “Multiple Personalities” mixed media show to Deadbeat Club’s “Field Trip” group photography show, and I recently stopped by the gallery to check out “It’s Not Your Birthday Anymore,” a Morrissey group show currently on display.

Morrissey Group Show – Current Exhibition

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Frida – Resident Dog

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All Photos © Bernadette Cruz

Follow Seeing Things Gallery on Instagram and Facebook for more information and upcoming events. If you find yourself in the South Bay this weekend, Friday 6/6 & Saturday 6/7, stop by  their booth at the SubZERO festival in downtown San Jose and say hi. They will be selling some books, zines, and other merch.

 

Fresh Friday Finds: Zio Ziegler

Today’s Fresh Friday Finds is Zio Ziegler, a San Francisco based spray paint muralist, painter, screen printer, and sculptor.

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Ziegler’s got an awesome signature solid black patterned style that is easily recognizable, whether he’s painting giant murals around San Francisco, getting commissioned to paint a Porsche Carrera 911, live painting at the Vans Village for SXSW in Austin last month, preparing for his solo show, “Et in Arte Ego,” that just opened in Milan, or collaborating with Pottery Barn Teen.

Check out this time lapse video of Ziegler at work to promote his Arte Sempre project!

From ZioZiegler.com

I’ve often been asked what my symbols mean in relation to one another, and while I hint at their meanings with a reference in a title, their meanings are as ephemeral as the process itself. This transience of meaning serves as catalyst for each viewer’s understanding. Because each painting lacks a singular explanation, the viewer is faced with self-reflection of his or her own life and internal pursuit. My paintings have subjectively different meanings for each person that views them, and through the observer’s own balance of reason, context, and intuitive reaction, each one serves as a starting place of thought and reflection rather than a means to an end.

There is no conclusion, only more questions. There is no meaning except for that which the viewer designates. My paintings begin with an existential journey, and can only end with an absurdist conclusion – the rest is just a vehicle for conveying this.

 

 

Monday Funday: Art Openings

I’M BAAACKKK! I’ve been on hiatus since my west coast move in September but am back at this blogging thing with my first official Cali-based post, a Monday Funday feature. These are friendly Monday reminders to always live in the moment, get out and have fun!

Today, I’ve got my hand picked calendar of this week’s events across the country.

NEW YORK CITY 

March 6th – 9th: The Armory Show at Piers 92 & 94 from 12p – 7p

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The Armory Show is one that I’ve always wanted to check out but constantly said, “next time.” This annual contemporary and modern art fair is the largest in New York City, showcasing over 2,000 artists from hundreds of galleries around the globe. So if you’re in the area and can treat yourself to sensory overload at its best, go for it! Tickets start at $40 day passes to $75 run of show passes. For more information, visit www.thearmoryshow.com.

JERSEY CITY, NJ

March 7th (JC Fridays): E. Tittlemouse & Co. presents “Women Power JC” at 246 Bay St. from 6p – 8p

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Who run the world?! Girls. This event presented by E. Tittlemouse & Co. features the diversity of Jersey City female artists and their talents. My friend, Rika Gunawan, will be there with her unique collection of handmade, limited edition hair accessories for women and children of all ages, Republic of Pigtails. Stop by and say hi!

This is just one of many events during this month’s “JC Fridays” presented by Art House Productions.  For a full calendar of events, visit www.jcfridays.com.

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BOONTON, NJ

March 7th: Anthony “Weird Eye” One’s “Something Wild” at Speakeasy Art Gallery 816 Main Street from 6p – 9p

AnthonyWeirdEyeOneI first met Anthony “Weird Eye” One back in March 2012 at his “Colorful Eye Candy” solo show and quickly became a fan of his work. Two years later, this painter, muralist and street artist takes his intricately patterned style of “movement and motion” and evolves into “Something Wild.” Watch “Weird Eye” One discuss the upcoming show presented by Speakeasy Art Gallery and check out a sneak peek here. For more event information, visit www.weirdeyedesigns.com.

SAN JOSE, CA                                                                                                    

March 7th: “Tangible: a handprinted exhibition” at Seeing Things Gallery 30 N. Third Street from 7p – 10p

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I finally got to check out Seeing Things Gallery, owned and operated by photographer Jai Tanju last month. I caught the current “Let’s Meet in the Middle” show featuring individual and collaborative mixed media artwork from husband and wife, David Imlay & Ana Carolina Pesce Imlay. This Friday, a new show, “Tangible” opens where the artists “have created photographs in the traditional sense, using their hands to make a physical object.” For more information, visit www.seeingthingsgallery.com.

FIRST FRIDAY SANTA CRUZ, CA

March 7th

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I couldn’t be more thrilled that Santa Cruz has tons of talented local artists and an abundance of inspiration to offer! I’m stoked to see as much as I can this Friday but really interested in trying to check out the following:

For a complete event listing, visit www.firstfridaysantacruz.com.

Art Opening: Caia Koopman’s “Gear up” at Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery

The “Gear up” show featuring paintings by pop surrealist Caia Koopman at Rachael and Steve Caballero‘s Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery is this Saturday, October 19 from 7-10pm at 311 E. Campbell Ave. in Campbell, CA. Come support local shops & artists if you are around!

Caia Koopman Gear Up Art Show Bela La Vie Boutique

From CaiaKoopman.com:

From the land of surf and sea, Caia Koopman has emerged as one of lowbrow’s preeminent female artists.

With a well-rounded background from her years spent obtaining her BA in Fine arts from UC Santa Cruz, to her time spent in the skateboarding and snowboarding scenes, Caia’s environment has both molded and provided an eclectic background that makes her paintings come to life. With her fine detail for beauty, inclinations toward nature, and collectiveness of the female spirit, Caia has quickly become one of the quintessential artists fully encompassing the elegance, strengths, and vulnerabilities of femininity.

Her work is alluring and has a hint of whimsy. It delves into the fascination of women, in both our conscious and subconscious ideals of the feminine role in society. Caia consistently submerses herself in subject that matter that is ingrained and full of cultural connotations.

Caia’s work is infused with a variety of cultural, political, environmental, sociological, and dreamscape references. Her influences serve as an amalgamation bringing her world to life through deliberate references and reverent imagery, with the finished work deriving strength and beauty from the artist herself. Her playfulness in her brush strokes is a constant struggle with the reality and solidity of the paint itself which comes across in her work as complimentary forces bringing together a gorgeous and powerful masterpiece.

Art Opening: Jimbo Phillips’ “Skate and Create” at Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery

Pro skater Steve Caballero and wife Rachael Caballero opened Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery in Campbell, CA a year ago. Tonight they celebrate the store’s one year anniversary with an art opening reception for graphic designer & illustrator Jimbo Phillips‘ “Skate and Create” show from 7-10 pm at Bela La Vie located at 311 E. Campbell Ave. Support local shops and artists and check it out if you are in the area!

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Opening Reception: “Friendly Fire” at Seeing Things Gallery

Jason Adams & friends collaborative art show opening reception for “Friendly Fire” at Seeing Things Gallery in San Jose, CA this Friday, March 29 at 7pm PT!

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Opening Reception: Mike Brodie’s “A Period of Juvenile Prosperity”

For all you west coasters, Mike Brodie‘s opening reception and book signing for “A Period of Juvenile Prosperity” is tonight at M+B in Los Angeles from 6-8pm.

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Chromogenic Print © Mike Brodie

From M+B:

M+B is proud to present Mike Brodie’s highly anticipated second solo exhibition, A Period of Juvenile Prosperity. The exhibition of thirty new color photographs will be Brodie’s first solo exhibition in six years and opens in conjunction with the publication of Brodie’s first monograph bearing the same name, published by Twin Palms. The exhibition will be shown simultaneously in New York at Yossi Milo Gallery and run at M+B in Los Angeles from March 16 through May 11, 2013, with an opening reception and book signing on Saturday, March 16 from 6 to 8 pm.