While attaining her BA in Fine Arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz, Caia was a skateboard enthusiast immersed in the punk rock scene of the ‘80s. She continues to live in Santa Cruz where the youthful vitality of a college town is an ever-present, pulsating force. Her professional career began by creating designs for skateboards and snowboards. Enchantingly beautiful female characters in her paintings are imbued with this fearless sense of defiance. As a second-generation conservationist, loving the environment and acutely aware that humanity is dangling our planet over a dangerous flame of pollution, nature is often woven into the haunting fabric of her images. Birds, flowers, plants, butterflies, animals and mythical creatures are interlaced with iconic symbols of love, mystery, soul searching and timeless values. Lurking throughout these visual fantasies are “Día de los Muertos” skulls, cute yet macabre reminders of the interlocking yin and yang of life and death.
Koopman’s popularity stems from the dazzling, intricate dreamscapes that depict deeply-rooted subconscious themes flavored with contemporary culture. Feminine energy infused with power and daring is blended with delicate elegance. An edgy juxtaposition of seemingly contrary ideas and emotions is persistent, and reflects the uneasy balance we maintain with our 21st century lifestyles. Technology coexisting with nature. Vulnerability accompanied by strength. Streetwise sensibility embodied in dainty, tattooed nymphs. Whimsy in spite of pathos. Vibrant life hand in hand with death. These fundamental aspects of the human condition, surrounded by the elements of modern life, all flowing through gorgeous imagery, are the essence of Koopman’s masterpieces.