"We The People" by Karen Sarrow, Acrylic and ink on Canvas
80" X 60"
Acrylic and Paper on Linen
Original Art Work
We the People, a big, bold, work, is particularly concerned with those wounded by the Trumpian zeitgeist. The image evokes the artist’s yearning for the country to embrace values free from the constraints of racism and xenophobia; a country proud of and welcoming to immigrants. The focus of the piece is a brown-skinned woman standing in the sea wearing a hijab, her arms bent in supplication. Sarrow illustrates her body with political iconography that uses signs and symbols of her eco-political beliefs. A companion work, One Nation, features an African-American man standing in the sea, his hands in prayer. The man’s clothing is covered with signifiers of economic injustice, while exospheric green veins lead from his heart to his head.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Karen Sarrow (b.1969 Coventry, England) immigrated to the United States as a young child with her family in 1973. Living in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons, the artist has been widely exhibited in the USA and abroad. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Truman State University in Missouri (1991), and a Master of Arts degree from Ohio State University, where she studied American, Contemporary, and Medieval art history (1994). Sarrow earned a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the Pratt Institute graduate program in New York (2003). She has continuing education in Graphic Design from OTIS, and illustration from the Pasadena Art Center. While her environmental activism, canvases, and Styrofoam media remain primary occupations, she complements these endeavors curating exhibitions of contemporary art. Along with her husband, Jonathan, Karen founded artHYPE Gallery and serves as director and curator. Her mission includes supporting and exhibiting emerging artists who make meaningful, committed work, grounded in humanism.
"I pursue the following objectives: connection and transcendence. The systems I use are intuitive, experimental, statistical, scientific and pattern sensing. I have a tendency to create natural forms. My program is color, my style is realism. I portray human bonding, understanding, and equality without violence. I am influenced by the people’s history, philosophies of justice, and the history of art."
My work consists of three styles, pop with outlines and flat color, Styrofoam installations with light and paint, and naturalistic portraits. I include portraits of people from different backgrounds, who represent my friends and family. I am an intuitive artist, and I like creating new forms, often based on dreams. I’m interested in humanism and environmental progress. I like the subjectivity of portraits and the illustration and science of green technologies. I work with oils, acrylics, and enamel, canvas, wood, Styrofoam and LED lights. I keep learning.