Anger, boredom, joy and sadness are some of the unfamiliar beauties and portraited truths in American artist Dorielle Caimi's fascinating artwork.
The American artist Dorielle Caimi (b. 1985), paints publicly unfamiliar beauty. We see naked women unphotoshopped and paintings that are beautiful and filled with decorative backgrounds, symmetric motives, pleasing lighting, and colorful figures. However, the body is something we do not typically see, especially since the aesthetic reminds of us fashion magazine covers. On these bodies, we see unfamiliar curves, uneven skin, and perhaps even wrinkles. It is the naked woman. The unretouched woman. The modern woman.
One of the things that vary is emotional expression. Where one woman in Caimi’s artwork can be indignant and almost resentful that you caught her in that exact moment and place, another woman can be joyous with a distraught gaze. Anger, boredom, joy, and sadness are some of the emotions which can be found in different works. A common theme is not only the portrayal of the naked body but perhaps more importantly how the subject relates to this. Are they embarrassed or the complete opposite when displaying themselves? Do they reflect on it, and what are their thoughts?
In reality, it is Caimi who is unapologetic. Her artwork diverges from what we are used to seeing and her art conveys a clear message which is a reclamation and recompilation of societal ideas. It is a mental shower and an eyewash from the synthetic media world. The irony of the works is that although the women are positioned in a highly surreal environment, it is the imperfect bodies that stand out.
If we ask Caimi why she has chosen to be a painter, it is a mystery. She states that she is not sure where her drive truly comes from. Nor is she sure about why she pursued art with what she calls naïve and overwhelming conviction. Today she paces herself each day through certain rituals which make sure that her work gets done; shower, breakfast, coffee, studio, exercise, dinner, sleep.
On the worst days, she wonders “why the hell am I doing what I am doing?”. In these moments she treats her work as a regular job and gets certain tasks done before leaving at 5 pm. As the years have passed, she figured out another way to fuel her practice. Simply acknowledging being an artist is worthwhile due to the connections she makes with people, the way people relate to her artwork, and the way her art documents her journey through life. These are some of the meaningful reasons why Caimi continues her work as an artist.
After the concept of the artwork has been fleshed out, the next step can develop in various ways. Since her art revolves around the female body, she looks through images of models to find a good image. Another approach she uses is to get images taken of a model, using herself as a subject, or she can create an object simply by painting from memory.
The preferred media is oil due to its forgiving nature and due to them being workable for hours, sometimes days.
She also respects the long-standing tradition painting with oil has had throughout history and it is for her an honor to keep the tradition alive and current. Ideas emerge in Caimi’s thoughts before she starts painting with the oil. Taking a walk, waking up from a dream, or simply staring at a stain on the wall will start a thinking process. Ideas are constantly streaming through her mind where they audition to become paintings. When the hairs stand up on her neck that is when an idea has won, which gives Caimi a rush of excitement in her stomach. She tries not to look to other visual artists for inspiration or influence, so she makes sure her art is original and hers only. The real inspiration comes from her own real-life exploration of, let us say weirdly shaped paint blobs on the floor, current politics, mental health issues, sexuality, the passage of time, and so on.
The tricky part is starting the painting process without second thinking, changing, or critiquing the original idea. But once the painting is done, Caimi realizes why the idea meant so much to her in the first place and why it was necessary to paint.
This article about Dorielle Caimi takes part of the 6th anniversary magazine, ARTICULATE #25. Read, download or order your print version of the full publication below.
ARTICULATE 25 is the 6th anniversary publication of ARTICULATE, showcasing the work of 5 professional contemporary artists, featuring the Ukrainian Ruslan Onishchenko, the Turkish creative photographer Elif Yesil Aktamis, the Spanish graphic artist José Navarro, the Russian illustrator Anton Gudim and the American painter Dorielle Caimi, who’s priding the cover.