Using figuration, vivid colors, and symbolism, my paintings are largely a reclamation and recompilation of societal ideas regarding women, and are an illumination of the world through the female gaze, psychology and experience.
By and large, femininity that we know today was built upon singular archetypes that offered women limited ways of being. Throughout history, women have been portrayed singularly as the demure object, the witch, the seductress or the mother. The classical nude has been renditioned by men for many centuries, often upholding these singular ideals for women. This is because they could only ever paint their experiences of women, not as women. Meanwhile men portrayed themselves as participants in the infinite human experience (ie. experiencing nightmares, being the conqueror, the fine connoisseur, the jester, the rich man, the voice of injustice, the protector, the tortured creative, even as God, Himself). I contend that women are not singularly anything but are, too, beings of deep and complex variety. It is important that women see themselves as such in all facets of society. It is also essential that we see the nude female form as far more than singularly sexual. The reason that women are abused is because they are objectified with the intent of perpetuating the aforementioned “appropriate” versions available to women, and thusly, we are stripped of our complexities. Singular objectification is the foundation for violence against women (and violence against ourselves as women: eating disorders, body augmentation, leaning out, taking less pay, etc.). Robbing an individual of her complexities sends a message of dehumanization to the world. So I am creating paintings wherein the women are the complex, unapologetic subjects and purveyors of authentic experience and empathy. I believe challenging people to see past the singularities that have aggressively been assigned to women and helping the world to behold the multiverse of the human being will be of great benefit to the evolution of humanity and the issue of gender.
Dorielle Caimi (b.1985) is an American oil painter living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Caimi completed a BFA (Summa Cum Laude) in Painting from Cornish College of the Arts in 2010. Her works have been exhibited internationally, and widely reviewed in publications such as American Art Collector, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, Hi-Fructose Magazine , Juxtapoz Magazine , Southwest Contemporary Magazine (cover), and The Huffington Post.
"Examining the idea of innocence as a virtue lost too soon, Caimi’s nude figures resist vulgarity and sexualization. The bright, vivid colors serve to draw the viewer in closer to the women, whom the artist imbues with psychological complexities. Incorporating a dark sense of humor and a vision of what an authentic self might look like, Caimi lays bare her own personal psyche, creating bold paintings that speak to, and for, a larger generation." -Gusford L.A. press release on Complex Candy (2014)
In 2015, Caimi was awarded the $10,000 William and Dorothy Yeck Award for work that "visually responds to painting in the 21st century" juried by Lacma's Franklin Sirmans. In 2019, she was selected as one of 10 finalists for the $50,000 Bennett Prize For Women Figurative Realists. Her works have been acquired by the Miami University Permanent Art Collection, The Tullman Collection, Ashley Longshore (private collection), Residente (private collection), and The Muskegon Museum of Art permanent collection.
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"The female nude has long served as a traditional presentation of the female body, and has continued to provoke debate through self-aware contemporary practitioners such as John Currin. As a result of the critical gaze bestowed upon the female, women have inherited a position in the lens of popular culture that is filled with psychological and emotional struggle. Thus Caimi contends that the female body is not simply “eye candy,” but one of a “complex” variety. By employing traditional techniques in the presentation of the female body, the Albuquerque-based artist forces the audience to reconsider the female nude."
-A. Moret, Art LTD., 2014
"Caimi's oil paintings are deeply feminine. They depict not only the nude female form but also showcase the artist's ability to capture extreme emotion and difficult subject matter. These paintings are largely an exploration of characteristics associated with women. The feminization and universal angst found within the work is interlaced with rich symbolism."
-Jane Kenoyer, Hi-Fructose Magazine, 2013
"Intent on not date stamping her work, Caimi skillfully combines her inspirations from epochs within classical art with 21st century influences, creating a timelessness in her images and also the implication that her thoughts and concerns are not limited to herself, nor to this era, but extend to past generations, through to our own and beyond."
-Wow x Wow
"Oil painter Dorielle Caimi's work offers Renaissance-reminiscent nude portraits in a startlingly bright color palette. Her subjects’ bodies betray their classical roots with sunburns or neon pubic hair. The images also incorporate objects and animals meant to scratch away the composure of the portrait, revealing the subject’s internal world. The faces of these women portray the tensions between their surface expressions and their emotional struggles. Caimi says her paintings 'explore the relationship between grace and angst that both plague and glorify the private worlds of young women.'"
-Rachel Cassandra, Juxtapoz Magazine, 2015
"Dorielle Caimi’s artwork displays a reimagining of the classic figure. In her collection Complex Candy,Caimi is able to convey the psychological struggles women face with her interpretations of women and their raw, physical emotion. Her femininity travels through and suspends in different moments of time because it is apparent that her interpretations are inspired by early masters, but her renderings also have elements of the pressures women today face. This creates an element of globality and timelessness within femininity."
-CoCoWeb Blog, 2014