My work is art as activism. The layers of images with mixed meanings and text, often biblical, are meant to provoke the viewer’s visceral senses to evoke change. Then using hot political issues, I mix it up with text, pop culture images, stencils, and symbols to create works that are a combination of personal commentary, religious and moral teachings, political outrage and social observation. These works reveal the layers and inner complexity of my dreams, nightmares and emotions and to confront who we are and where we are going in a culture of exile and alienation between race, religion and political dogma in our turbulent society. With my CRTL-ALT-DEL series I’m examining the concept of creating ‘do-overs’, reinventing and defining oneself. One swift keystroke–wipe everything out to reinvent oneself, creating an alternative universe. Starting over in this new place, with a new story, digitally it’s clean, a pristine series of zeros and ones; the real world doesn’t operate like that. Wiping everything out over and over, the layers of life and memory get thin, unsubstantial, and disintegrate. NEVER ENOUGH speaks to addictions, desires and obsessions that take over, creating consequences that cannot be undone. Current consumer culture is focused on amassing possessions and instant gratification, creating needs that are never satiated. No amount is ever enough.
Karen Gutfreund is an Artist and a Curator/Exhibition Director and Arts Administrator. She has worked in the Painting & Sculpture Department for MoMA, the Andre Emmerick Gallery, The Knoll Group, the John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco and the Pacific Art League, Palo Alto. She has been actively involved on the board of various arts organizations, is a consultant to a number of galleries and for private collections. Karen is the former Vice President and National Exhibitions Director for the Women’s Caucus for Art, and is now the Museum and Gallery Liaison for WCA, Member of ArtTable, the Northern California Representative for The Feminist Art Project, and Curator for UniteWomen.org. She actively promotes the work of women artists with national touring exhibitions, creating large scale “blockbuster” art shows exhibiting hundreds of women artists across the country and creates exhibition opportunities, documenting the work in catalogs and creating educational opportunities for the artists for professional development. She is an art consultant—renting artwork to corporations and individuals. Lastly, Karen is also an exhibiting artist with a focus on “Art as Activism” to facilitate social change.