Caroline Pinney is a contemporary figurative artist whose work primarily explores intimacy and human relationships. Since receiving her BFA in 2016, the artist has lived in Nashville, Richmond, and is now based in Austin — energized by the warm weather. The landscapes and robust art and music scenes of each city have propelled her curiosity and independence, instilling lyricism and movement into her work.
Pinney’s paintings evoke an art brut approach, treading the line between gestural and more controlled methods of application. Both her use of color and texture is deeply influenced by the artist’s environment. Her characteristic color palette and the various textures she materializes embody her distinct visual language. She manipulates traditional materials such as acrylic, oil and charcoal, while her experimental practice employs coffee staining, ink made from natural elements, spray paint, and subtractive methods — adding an eccentric dynamism.
This textural diversity reflects the individuality of her figures, each with their own perceptible disposition. Her paintings comment on the spectrum of contemporary social interaction: vibrant moments of solidarity, chaotic scenes with an underlying tension, and contemplative moments of leisure, intimacy, or companionship. Notable is Pinney’s depiction of women, who confidently take up space, with limbs exaggeratedly curving across canvases like personifications of fearless autonomy. This mirrors the artist’s own navigation of self-awareness: a growing audaciousness to define and translate a personal understanding of what it means to be a woman.
While Pinney’s works are thus personal and intimate expressions, they remain universal thanks to their abstraction and whimsically enigmatic storylines, allowing viewers to interpret each piece with their own perspective. At once feisty and harmoniously assuring, Pinney’s work ultimately displays a deep care for people.