For her upcoming exhibition at LA’s Gusford Gallery, “Complex Candy,” Dorielle Caimi depicts nudes that evoke the Dutch Golden Age and High Renaissance posing with snakes and contemporary props like donuts. Her humorous compositions place a psychological lens on the societal pressures that confront women in today’s society. In Concave, a stern-looking woman with disheveled red hair, strong shoulders, and prominent raised eyebrows clasps her hands around the head of an enormous screaming child. Set against a vibrant yellow background, the portrait forcefully presents the complexities of motherhood. Similar themes of childbearing are present in The Weight, in which a giant stork sits atop a young woman’s head while she solemnly gazes at the viewer with tired eyes.
In some oil paintings, women with unidealized bodies (read: realistic) resist objects typically associated with femininity, while other artworks conflate gender norms by presenting austere women embracing snakes. In Our Furs, a cheerful woman with neon pink pubic hair uncomfortably engulfs her head in plush fur of the same color, while Until Proven Innocent shows a Rubanesque woman with clear tan lines and a severe facial expression, grasping the tail end of a rattle snake.
Dorielle Caimi’s “Complex Candy” will be on view at Gusford Gallery March 7 through April 19.