Women Figurative The Divine Feminine Fantasy Mythology Nature Surrealism Imaginative Realism Contemporary Realism Iconography
About the artist
Karen Remsen is a Chicago-based artist creating paintings with oil and precious metals such as gold and platinum leaf. Her work centers on exploring the multifaceted nature of female power and identity. Combining paint with reflective materials, her work also explores the beauty and complexity of light as it moves over a surface and changes throughout the day. Karen is a self-taught artist who rediscovered painting in 2020 after a hiatus of nearly 15 years. She has exhibited across the country in galleries that champion imaginative realism and contemporary figurative work.
Artwork Themes & Subject Matter
Karen Remsen paints women because she feels an inherent kinship with them. She is drawn to understanding how each woman has uniquely shaped herself from similar clay – not only a shared biology, but also a shared sense of moving through a world that both celebrates and degrades.
Karen is most interested in depicting women in moments of introspection and reflection. Her wish is to capture the gaze turned inward, seeking inner strength and satisfaction. In the cases where her muse’s gaze meets yours, she wants you to recognize the complex identity that is rooted deep within.
Karen’s oil paintings juxtapose photorealism with elements of abstraction and reflective materials such as copper, gold leaf, and platinum leaf. As light interacts with the different surfaces, it breathes a liveliness and mutability into each piece. The image is never the same, transforming as we look at it from different angles and under changing light.
Her hope is not to depict beauty for beauty’s sake, but rather as a tool to capture our attention and free our mind to wander. When we see a beautifully painted hand, for example, we admire the texture of the skin, the fine wrinkles of the knuckles, the hint of veins beneath the surface. As we look more closely, our thoughts may turn to imagine what these hands have touched, and how these hands will age, what they will feel and grasp and create.
When we see her work, Karen hopes that the beauty of the shifting light and the human figure draws us in. She hopes that we lean in, look more closely, and in those moments begin to see reflections of our own understanding of femininity and the human experience.
Karen Remsen’s works have been featured in notable magazines and online sources including Infected by Art, Create Magazine, Marvelous Art, The Huts Magazine, Warriors Within Collective, and All She Makes.
Group exhibition: “The Portrait Show 11 – Beyond Original”
Modern Eden Gallery San Francisco, CA, USA
Selected Group Exhibitions
Circle of Light, 33 Contemporary, Chicago, IL. United States
12 x 12 Show, Elephant Room Gallery, Chicago, IL. United States
TEN by TEN, Jackson Junge Gallery, Chicago, IL. United States
The Portrait Show X, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA. United States