Karen Ann Myers loves painting women, in their underwear, in their bedroom. And we love her work.
“The paintings began as an investigation of myself, so they’re really deeply rooted in self-portraiture,” Myers says. “In some ways I still think of these as being self-portraits, and these friends of mine are stand-ins for me. My identity is sort of defined by my relationships with my friends, my sisters, and family members”.
But what does it mean to be a woman in today’s society? And is it important to know? “I am exploring this. While my solitary female figures are strong and confident in their sexuality, these paintings also offer a glimpse into the confusion and doubt felt by women in their moments alone. In this way, my paintings serve as psychological self-portraits. Each one is a reflection of feelings and experiences that I myself have gone through, and each is a projection of the progression of my moods and emotions while painting them. Through this projection and reflection of myself in my paintings, each work has a strong link with self-portraiture“.
The background patterns (reminding one of Missoni fabrics, really) are a defining characteristic of her work as well, and have been since an early critic warned her not to ignore the background of a painting.
And do note this, Myers works from photographs of her models, doing much of the early planning of each painting on her computer. “Every time I start a painting, I look through my collection of photographs that I have taken of rugs, photographs of bedding, wherever,” she says, pointing out a chair in one painting that she spotted in an Athens hotel room. “That’s my version of a sketchbook“…