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.

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Fresh Friday Finds: Ali Smith

New York City based photographer Ali Smith has found success in the arts time and time again. She was a former ballet dancer who performed on the prestigious stage at Lincoln Center, she toured the world when she was in a punk rock band that released nine albums, and now her full-time gigs include raising her son and taking pictures. Lately, she has been working largely in the publishing industry with over 300 book covers under her already substantial belt and recently shot the book trailer for Lauren DeStefano’s Severthe final book in the bestselling Chemical Garden trilogy. Smith’s style and creativity has become a go-to when flirty, feminine, strong, and powerful images are needed.

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Smith’s work has also been featured in solo and group shows in New York, Los Angeles, and London as well as in Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan magazines. She has photographed advertisements for clients like Rimmel London Makeup and The Blue Man Group. Her photo essays have become published books like her debut Laws of the Bandit Queens (2002).

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Photo © Ali Smith

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Photo © Ali Smith

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Photo © Ali Smith

Twelve years in the making, one of Smith’s newest project is a collection of forty portraits of women and their personal stories regarding motherhood called Momma Love; How the Mother Half Lives. Gloria Steinem says, “Ali Smith has given us a gift with Momma Love; a fresh, eye-opening manifestation of motherhood’s contemporary realities.” With support from Smith’s Kickstarter campaign, she hopes to get this new book published and find success one more time. To learn more about Ali Smith’s work, visit http://www.alismith.com/.

Hump Day Hot Seat: Dan Puleo

Ladies & gentlemen, welcome to the first Hump Day Hot Seat post on .stART here. where you’ll get to know some cool artists a little bit better.  I will be asking questions provided by Finch & Ada.  Enjoy!

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1. Who are you?

Dan Puleo, sometimes Daniel Jack. It depends on the weather.

2. What do you do?

Right now, I am working for a mid-century modern art/furniture gallery in West Palm Beach, Florida. It is really helping me research and develop some exciting new ventures I have planned, furniture design and simple framed works on paper. Unlike New York City and New Jersey, the market down here is less cluttered. I think it could be a fresh new market for me… if they’re even read for it. I also create mixed media paintings. I was using found objects on canvas, but I am refining and using gallery wrap canvas and works on paper. I think it’s time for marketability.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

I was raised in New Jersey so I guess you can say I got my start there. I think my 4th grade teacher told me I was talented when I won a poster contest for fire prevention. When I moved to New York City is when I started garnering some attention from other artists and collectors. I lived Uptown so I took the train a lot. I would notice the difference in the maintenance of each train station I stopped at. I really liked the way advertisements were peeled off and tagged. I remember seeing faint images of fashion models underneath gyro posters underneath Newport ads underneath a flyer for a local show underneath…you get the idea, lots of layers. My dad is somewhat responsible for my love of street art. He drove a truck that was pretty accessible to great graffiti artists in Paterson, New Jersey. He liked to show my brother and me new pieces whenever someone tagged the truck. But, my dad didn’t like it too much when I got in trouble for vandalism in high school. My brother, Bobby, also exposed me to the latest skate videos and punk rock pretty young so that was a plus. Skateboarding culture played a huge role in my life and has influenced my art greatly.

4. How long have you been at it?

I was to say too long, but I guess it hasn’t been long enough.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

I’m usually my biggest critic when it comes to my art. It still surprises me when someone really loves a piece that I thought was just whatever. I like to disconnect from the piece when I feel it’s done, kind of put it away from me and then go back later and see how I feel. I don’t like to become attached to pieces of art, most of them started as garbage and most of them will end up as garbage.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

I admire anyone who can make a living following their passion when it come to art. I also admire people who starve just to hold on to their passion for art. That being said, I admire most artists. Robert Rauschenberg is one of my favorite artists. He recently died, and I think he may be buried here in West Palm.

7. What other types of art are you into?
Anything lowbrow, street art, pop art, signage, and furniture design.
8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?
My skull collection is growing. I just found a goat skull and a pig skull in the same garden. Voodoo?
9. What’s your favorite vice?
Miami
10. How do you make it over the creative hump?
Right now, I am at the top of the hump about to roll back down the other side. Changing location and lifestyle over the past year has been interesting. I am kind of surveying the scene down here and waiting for the right moment to release some real art. There is definitely some money to be made in South Florida, hopefully this old money wants some new art.
11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?
I do like food. I eat out a lot. I did just recently get a blender for Christmas. I want to drink most of my food from now on.
12. Truth or Dare? Elaborate.
Truth. I’ve admitted most things already so it shouldn’t be too hard.
13. What is your most prized posession?
I already mentioned my skull collection so I would have to say my vintage camera collection.
Check out Dan’s online portfolio for more information. Photo courtesy of Dan Puleo.