Karen Carlo Salinger

Artist Name – Squishy Matter
Karen Salenger

Suspended animation, medical curiosities, scientific illustrations and biological specimens. Improbable creatures in impossible situations. These are some of the ideas that I incorporate into my drawings, sculpture, and other artwork. I call them my creatures, because that is what they are – unknown organisms that take shape in my mind, the roots of which come from a lifelong interest in strange biology, microscopic life, the human body, and basically anything else ooey, gooey, creepy, strange or unusual.

The play of fascination vs. repulsion is a strong element in my work, and reflects a trait of the human psyche – people are afraid of disturbing things, yet they are fascinated by them at the same time. Exploiting that tendency in my own imagination, my creatures are simultaneously pretty and disturbing, delicate and hostile, sensuous and icky. They have complex little personalities, showing an almost human set of emotions reacting to whatever unfortunate or awkward situation they find themselves in. Their existence is anxious and turbulent, and alive with unsettled energy.

I have always been drawn to materials with unique textures that invite touch, and my drawings reflect my need for that tactile quality as well, with a very sketchy, almost wiry feel to the pen and ink lines. My process is very spontaneous, and I often start with only a vague idea of what the finished piece will look like as the work evolves and changes and grows. Creating art is my way to express the thoughts, emotions, and fears running through my subconscious, and I am often surprised at how it seeps up to the surface. I hope that the end result will resonate with each viewer in their own way, and that it will connect with elements of their own subconscious.

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Medium(s) – Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Sculpture

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