DeCaussin tackles private lives in new Scottsdale gallery


The intimate stories and private lives of every day strangers has become the subject matter for Lies Unsaid --- Paintings by Cam DeCaussin, a new exhibition by Scottsdale Public Art at the Appaloosa Public Gallery.

Like the deep thoughtfulness of the paintings of Edward Hopper, Mr. DeCaussin’s artwork is inspired by walks in ordinary neighborhoods, using the low light of evening, where each window transforms into a TV screen depicting an intimate story, according to a press release.

“There is an urge to flirt with voyeurism,” Mr. DeCaussin said. “We all, to some degree, engage in it.”

The paintings in this new exhibition are ambiguous and melancholic narratives of suburbia’s strain toward isolation. Mr. DeCaussin says viewers will witness a world veiled by an idealistic domestic façade, yet the illuminated interior of the home is overcome with depression, anxiety and solitude.

“My initial inspiration stems from the loss of my father to suicide and the years-long process of comprehending what had occurred,” he said in a prepared statement. “This has ultimately developed into a desire to look at each home I pass and find what is being left untold.”

While painting each scene, the artist says he develops his own narrative, projecting onto it his struggles and thoughts and observing with sympathy the faint promise of being a presence in an anonymous life. Each work is a moment of reflection that benefits from the exhibition’s appropriately quiet setting inside the Appaloosa Library.

Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, said Mr. DeCaussin’s works has a lush and vibrant richness that immediately attracts the eye.

“When you get closer, the stories they hold bring a dark and poignant beauty,” Ms. Raisanen said in a prepared statement.

Mr. DeCaussin lives and works in Phoenix. He has a Bachelor of Fine Art in illustration from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and a Master of Fine Art in painting and drawing from Arizona State University.

His work has been exhibited throughout Arizona, including the 2018 Arizona Biennial. Mr. DeCaussin has also shown in his work nationally and internationally, from Michigan and Ohio to China and Germany, a release states.

There was an opening reception for the gallery on Dec. 4. Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation will also host a free creative workshop associated with the exhibition at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, at the library.

Participants in the workshop, titled Memories in Oil, will work alongside Mr. DeCaussin to paint a memory from their childhood or past. No prior experience is necessary, and supplies will be provided.

Lies Unsaid --- Paintings by Cam DeCaussin opened Monday, Dec. 2, and will run through Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.