Artist Proof Interview with Artist: Caia Koopman
AP Shop URL: http://www.zazzle.com/caiakoopman
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.
AP: How long have you been making art for and what lead you to start.
CK: I’ve always loved to draw and make art, ever since I was itty bitty, my great grandmother was an amazing artist and she passed some down to me. I’ve been making a living as a painter for about the past 10 years, besides selling paintings at galleries I do a lot of commercial and collaboration projects with snowboard companies and other action sports companies including most recently Oakley.
AP: Where do you currently live and work and how does this influence your work.
CK: I’ve recently moved to Santa Cruz, I’ve been living in Southern California for the past 15 years and needed a change. So far I love it here, maybe I will start painting my girls in Birkenstocks and tie-dye, or not…
AP: Did you have formal training if so whatω If your self taught can you tell us what you prefer about being a self taught artist vs having formal training.
CK: I can’t really claim self taught because I did get a BA of arts degree from UCSC but there’s almost nothing I learned from school I use in my painting technique today. I would have loved to go to art school but that wasn’t an option for me, UCSC was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but the way I paint today is something that has evolved over the years way past anything I learned at school.
AP: Can you tell us about where you make your work is it in your house, a studio etc.. and how it effects your work.
CK: I’ve painted in my kitchen for years, I enjoy the short commute and convenient proximity to the fridge and coffee maker. In my new place in Santa Cruz I’m working in the living room, my new commute is a few yards farther and the coffee maker us just out of reach. I like working at home but I wouldn’t mind having a real studio at some point.
AP: What are some of you favorite design projects/exhibitions you have worked on to date.
CK: One of my favorite projects is Seven Artistic Sins with Rossignol, we’re on sin 5 this year. I’ve painted Sloth, Anger, Gluttony, and hmmm one other so far, they are for ski graphics and it’s been really cool. My other favorite projects are with Oakey, we’re doing an entire line called the “Caia Collection” and it includes 4 styles of sunglasses so far, a rad snowboard goggle for the ladies and an apparel collection including a bikini and board short. Oh, and we also did a limited edition watch which I believe is all sold out. The shades are super cute and I can’t wait until the board shorts come out. As far as exhibitions I currently have a solo show in France rotating between the four Spacejunk Galleries there.
AP: What is your medium of choice.
Answer:I work with acrylics and have been experimenting with water based oils, mixing both. I paint on canvas or wood, I love both.
AP: What is the relationship between technique and content in your work.
CK: Working with acrylics I tend to paint elements that are a bit more illustrative than realistic, my style of painting lends to more iconic elements than to scenery which might be cool to explore as I incorporate more water based oils.
AP: Who are some of the artists that have inspired you and or your work.
CK: Growing up my mom loved to take me to art shows, especially at SFMOMA. There’s nothing like standing in front of the actual paintings for real inspiration. There were a couple shows in particular that cemented in me the idea of being a painter, Frida Kahlo was a big inspiration, her work has always meant a lot to me, her story telling, full of pain and strength, sadness and beauty, she’s been hugely influential to me. I’m also a huge fan of the current art scene, i’ve got a laundry list of artists I love, way too many to start naming. I wish I made enough money to have a giant collection of all my favorite current artists.
AP: In what direction would you like to see your work going over the next five years.
Answer: I’d like to keep doing collaborative projects with Oakley, Rossignol and other artists, I’d also like to work in 3D.
AP: What forth coming projects and or exhibitions do you have scheduled for 2011.
CK: This year I’ve got a bunch on new products coming out with Oakley, and right now I’m getting ready for Les Enfants TERRIBLES, opening Sept 13th at The Spacejunk Gallery and (Biennale d’Art Contemporain) the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale 2011 ; Exhibiting with Todd Schorr, Caia Koopman, Odo, Reg Monbossa, Jeff Soto, Nicolas Thomas, Naoto Hattori, Victor Castillo,Ray Caesar, Robert Crumb, Robert Williams, Joe Sorren
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist.
CK: For the past six months or more I’ve been cramming for a handful of back to back shows with ridiculous deadlines, I’ve been under the gun and painting constantly. I preffered my days when I could paint at a more leisurely pace and include things like lunch with friends and movies at night. I’ve been lucky to squeeze in a run these days but my final deadline is close and soon I’ll be able to take a little time off to re-inspire.
AP: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.