Featured Artist Jane Caminos

Artist Jane Caminos’ vivid paintings show acts of violence against women around the world, and send a powerful message. Visit her website to learn more.

 

"Brothel Born" Mixed Media on Linen, 16" x 20" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Brothel Born” Mixed Media on Linen, 16″ x 20″

 

Most of us have settled into a style of art making that intrigues us, challenges our mastery of technique, and is suited to serve as the messenger that conveys our stories to our viewers. I gathered up preferences for color and patterning born of Matisse and Gauguin while going to art school at RISD in the Warholian late 60’s.

 

"Without Love" Mixed Media, 30" x 24" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Without Love” Mixed Media, 30″ x 24″

 

By the 1970’s I’d discovered I was an illustrator who loved to paint, so while working as an art director for books, novelties and periodicals, I also drew a hell of a lot for freelance bucks and painted all sorts of things late into the night, still searching.

 

"FollowU" Oil on Linen, 30" x 24" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“FollowU” Oil on Linen, 30″ x 24″

 

While looking through family albums made in the thirties and forties, I was enchanted by the snaps of aunts and girlfriends wearing the flowery frocks, pompadour hairdos, and dark lipstick popular in those years. So began my love affair with painting women.

 

"Up on the Roofie" Oil and Colored Pencil on Linen, 30" x 24" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Up on the Roofie” Oil and Colored Pencil on Linen, 30″ x 24″

 

I’d select a photo that was populated by women whose personalities and style were appealing to interpret, and invite them onto a canvas to be transformed by my imagination.

 

"A Leader Emerges" Oil on Linen, 30" x 24" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“A Leader Emerges” Oil on Linen, 30″ x 24″

 

The goal was never to simply copy the snap as some artists do. It was to use the image as a starting off place to which I could add props and gimmicks that would explain their lives, true or not, to my viewers.

 

"Grenade" Oil and Colored Pencil on Linen, 30" x 24" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Grenade” Oil and Colored Pencil on Linen, 30″ x 24″

 

Since the mid 70’s, as a dedicated, enthusiastic feminist, I’ve painted dozens of “life times” of my own making; most of these add a humorous sprinkling to the stories, although now and then more serious occasions have flavored the scene.

 

"One of Three" Oil on Linen, 30" x 24" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“One of Three” Oil on Linen, 30″ x 24″

 

I built a reputation with my collection of women of all ages and have never become bored by my decision to paint one gender. I’ve got to admit that when the time arrived for my first solo exhibition, I was so intimidated that I sat across the street from the glass fronted gallery, afraid to enter even as the guests streamed in.

 

"Empower Me" Mixed Media on Linen, 16" x 36" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Empower Me” Mixed Media on Linen, 16″ x 36″

 

After watching a PBS documentary about the 2012 gang rape and subsequent death of twenty-three year old student Jyoti Singh in Delhi, I reacted with tearful rage. The next day I resolved to put aside painting my comfortable portraits of women.

 

"Fear" Oil on Linen, 36" x 18" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Fear” Oil on Linen, 36″ x 18″

 

Instead I began “On Women Bound,” a series of oil and mixed media paintings designed to expose violence against women and girls across all cultures around the world.

 

"Acid Madonna" Oil on Linen, 16" x 20" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Acid Madonna” Oil on Linen, 16″ x 20″

 

It’s my intent that as viewers study the art, they will begin a dialogue about gender based crime which will be carried out into their lives, thus building an awareness that even in the suburban United States, blonde girls are stolen every day, and across the world one in three females will be raped, have their genitals mutilated, be forced into marriage as children, stoned for adultery, caned for flirting, or had their faces melted by acid thrown by a dissatisfied mother-in-law.

 

"Rage" Oil on Linen, 20" x 16" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Rage” Oil on Linen, 20″ x 16″

 

They will be made into sex slaves, deprived of an education, forbidden to leave home without a male relative, forced to kill newborn babies should they be female, murdered by their fathers for dishonoring the family, and much more.

 

"Manna" Oil on Linen, 30" x 24" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Manna” Oil on Linen, 30″ x 24″

 

I’ve chosen not to detail the more horrendous occurrences, and to include occasions when victims celebrate their victories over oppressors. Some days the rougher work gets to me and I take a break by painting a brighter theme.

 

"Saint Malala" Mixed Media, 28" x 29" by artist Jane Caminos. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Saint Malala” Mixed Media, 28″ x 29″

 

Now that I’m an artist activist with On Women Bound as my life’s work, I’ve come to believe that as artists it’s our responsibility to use our talent to change the world for the better. What do you think?

 

Artist Jane Caminos invites you to follow her on Facebook.

 

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YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. I love the power and emotion in your work! Now more than ever, it is important to inspire people to think, feel, and act.

    • Nancy, it certainly is a “now more than ever” time. When I began On Women Bound several years ago, I was naive; made a neat list of 24 subjects to paint and figured it would be an intense but “invigorating” exercise that might reach an interested group, provide a drop into place exhibition and perhaps a book. I was way off the mark, I quickly discovered. How far should I go in depicting women being beaten, tortured…worse. But merely painting “safe” scenes doesn’t do it either. So I straddle, depending on my nerve and reactions from people to work I’ve posted. Some love the “rough ones”, others chastise me for daring such scenes. Now and then I take a break with another sort of narrative painting just for a break, and then start a new OWB with renewed commitment. Your comment keeps the spark burning for me to do many more, and there are more, sadly. Thanks Nancy for your support!

  2. OMG! Jane, you have brought the rage to the surface! As a woman who survived a rape/attempted murder in my 30s, I have fought to deal with this for decades. Sixty-five now, I feel heartened that we (as a community) are beginning to talk about it. Your paintings make me realize, how far from alone I have been all these years. And how we must change this now. It’s no longer about protecting myself, your paintings help me see that we must protect each other, our sisters, daughters, and grand daughters.

    I am a painter as well. In every one of my paintings, the rage begins the painting and then transforms into peace. Painting this way for 35 years has helped me move past the trauma, and function as a sane individual.

    The eyes of your woman in “Fear” are haunting! You have reminded me that she is still driving me every day.

  3. Kara Schmidt says:

    Jane, Your work brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for bringing your perspective to the increasing momentum of change in the push for moving women forward in our struggle for equality in all aspects of our lives. Your contribution is powerful!

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