Clockwise from top left: Lost Souls; Bunny Dream; Coffee Angel; INKED logo.
Artist: Caia Koopman
Caia Koopman’s cast of sexy tattooed lowbrow characters pose among recurring icons like painted skulls, multicolored roses, peacock feathers, lovebirds, and heart lockets. A California native with a BFA from UC Santa Cruz, Koopman’s pop surrealist paintings have been shown from Culver City, CA, to Bayonne, France.
Koopman grew up skateboarding, snowboarding, and skiing the hills of southern California—an influence that would ultimately lead to gigs designing sunglasses and goggles for Oakley as well as board graphics for K2, Morrow, and Hyperlite. Koopman also hawks accessible goods like business card cases, pendants, pillboxes, and lockets through Classic Hardware. “The commercial aspect of my art is really fun,” she says. “I love being able to offer my art to everyone—not just people who can afford the originals.”
Lost Souls, Lift My Spirit, Road Side Angel, and Bunny Dream are titles of some of Koopman’s most recent works that feature pixie-like characters of her own imagination. “All of my subjects are [depictions] of what I see in all women,” she says. “I try and make my female subjects kind of iconic, so that most women can relate to one or more of the characters.”
Koopman also includes elements of body art, with iconic symbols like hearts and skulls as well as flora and fauna, and is herself heavily inked on her upper arms. “I love tattoos,” she says. “My subjects’ tattoos are about the connection between humans and the nature around us.”