Q&A with Caia Diepenbrock

"All That We See or Seem is But A Dream Within A Dream."

High Society - Acrylic paint on wood panel 12 x 12 in.
Born in: 1993, Providence, R.I, USA
Lives in: Los Angeles, USA
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Bard College NY
Media: Painting, Photography, Installation, Mixed media, Collage, Drawing, Printmaking, Textile Arts
Describe your work in 2 words: Abstracted realism
See More Work: http://caiadiepenbrock.com
Culture - Acrylic paint on cardboard 60 x 30 in.
CFA: What themes does your work deal with? 
C.D.:  Human consciousness and our relationship with the universe inspires me most. As emotional beings, there are infinite ways that we can each interpret art and the world around us, yet there are common denominators such as time, location, and color (to an extent) that keep us connected. My work explores individual perception vs what we experience as a collective by combining the recognizable and the abstract to question what is Subjective vs. Objective & Reality vs. Illusion. 
CFA: Describe your creative process.
C.D.: Everything I do starts somewhat randomly. In my most recent "Translation" series, I begin with fashion magazines to find textures, patterns, and shapes that intrigue me. By cutting these images into abstract shapes and remixing them, I create my own composition that I later translate into a painting. This process eliminates the pressure of a blank canvas because my material already exists - I just have to curate and portray it. Overall, I simply use the medium and edit & elaborate later.  
CFA: What influences your art? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
C.D.:  Making art is healing to me; it keeps me sane and out of my head. I strongly believe in the energetic connection between conscious beings and the universe, and creativity is a way to channel that connection. It is intuition versus logic. It is peace versus conflict - I see it as a form of therapy that the world needs more of. Everyone is an artist - we just need to let go of the judgment that revolves around making "good" art. It's the process that matters.
CFA: What is art? What makes a piece of art great?
C.D.:  Art is a way for people to open their minds to new perspectives of the world. It is a catalyst for emotion and empathy, as well as discomfort and controversy. To me, a successful piece is one that makes you think or feel something new and real. It's not contrived, it's not superficial, and it challenges what's expected. I wish the "high art" world could be separated from Capitalism, because so often a piece of art is only as valuable as how expensive it is, and I think that's disgusting.
CFA: What is the role of the artist today? 
C.D.:  To disrupt normalcy! There is so much we take for granted, or don't see at all - and the role of the artist is to reawaken the public to these issues. Whether it's through the energy of an abstract painting, or more literal portrayals of political issues (such as Shepard Fairey's OBEY work), art today needs to make people feel something and realize there is more to life than meets the eye.

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This interview was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist