"I love to think at people having a good feeling when they look at my paintings", says the New York-born artist who is now living in Cambodia, observing and soaking in the colorful Kingdom of Wonder: "wake up every day, open the curtains, sit down with your coffee or tea, and smile".
The series of artworks presented at Chinese House during one month are a departure from the mostly abstract expressionist sensibility reflected in Karen Hartmann's previous exhibition at Plantation urban resort & spa last year.
"As I looked back at those paintings I thought to myself, I can’t stay within these parameters, I just can’t", recalls Karen: "There was a need for changing paradigms, and it happened like an explosion. Within five days I had started no less than three paintings, in a style that I'd call "character abstracts", using even brighter colors with random shapes that literally seem to move. The eye goes around and around. The viewer has to keep looking."
With this vivacious portraying of Cambodian characters came exuberant, whimsical titles: What A Lovely Frock, She Married A Youth Ten Years Younger Than Herself, Riding Side Saddle, or the facetious Too Much Beethoven.
Karen Hartmann keeps surprising and enchanting us with her high-spirited quest for new forms, new color combinations, new takes on the world around us. Paradigms, sure, but always on a whim. Paradigmsical.
"Changing Paradigms" Exhibition opens Jan 12, 2018, from 6 PM, at Chinese House, Preah Sisowath Quay # Street 84. Until Feb 14.