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Click on the headings or images below to reach the individual project pages.

Recent Work
Sentience The work completed during the period from 2011 to 2015 focuses on a number of disturbing social issues of our time. Some themes are continuations from earlier work, such as concern for environmental devastation and consumerism, while others have been introduced because of ever worsening social conditions or new developments in technology. Loss of privacy and concern for the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on humanity have become increasingly prevalent, along with continuing economic disparity and homelessness.

The Commuter Life Before TV
Special Projects

  "The Commuter" contrasts two worlds, one of urban grit, the other a bucolic countryside. This painted tapestry is inhabited by whimsical characters all interested in reading about and studying art. The blue plexi-glass rabbit is the art student who makes the trip between city and country to attend classes.   For many years I have been collecting paper ephemera and children's puzzles from flea markets and antique stores. In this series I select parts of old activity or coloring book and put them in a new and unexpected context. Other paintings refer to a childhood — my own — without coloring books, paint by numbers and TV.
Coloring Book Hyrbrids Walnut Ink Drawings
Urban Life

This 13' long scroll drawing was inspired by people I've observed in the bustling and diverse neighborhood of Central Square, Cambridge. I have long been fascinated with the energy of the street in this location. It's a true crossroad of humanity where people of all ages, walks of life and parts of the earth pass through.

In a more recent series of drawings done in walnut ink, I have continued to portray children in other contexts. The work is intended to provoke, pose questions or create feelings of anxiety about the impact of modern life on children.
Coloring Book Hyrbrids Cut Paper Collages

This series is a continuation of "Life Before TV", but focuses on issues facing children in the present. In this new body of work children and animals inhabit an anxious and unsettled world where food can be unhealthy, the natural environment endangered, and the streets unsafe. Cut Paper Collages

The cut paper pieces completed in 2007 and 2008, have evolved from three years of exploring ideas through walnut ink drawings and paintings on paper. This work is becoming less traditional both in subject matter and form as I gradually lose the rigidity of the rectangle, and penetrate the interior with a knife.



Catalogue Project What I Never Learned in School

  A plethora of consumer catalogues has been arriving in many homes in ever greater numbers in recent years. This inundation raises many issues, such as waste, the illusion of choice and the hypnotic effect of consumerism. As a commentary on this situation, I created a group of trees and collages made from shredded catalogues.   My recent curiosity about Native Americans and Pilgrims led me to examine aspects of early American history which I was never taught in school. This led to the creation of a body of work focusing on my reinterpretation of what I learned from my research. I employed a wide variety of media, such as gold leaf, blackboards, old school textbooks, newspaper articles and a Wampanoag hut (a “wetu”).
Turkey Maze Series Natural History

Before the American Eagle was selected as the symbol for the United States, Benjamin Franklin had chosen the turkey to be our national bird. The Turkey Maze series of ink drawings was made as a form of meditation while listening to the news reports on NPR in the aftermath of September 11th.

This work incorporates collaged elements of text, old engravings, handmade paper and, on occasion, plant specimens to create visual narratives based on the lives of important naturalists and explorers.
Unraveled Sweaters Ceramic Tile Paintings

Anxiety and loss were widespread reactions to the tragedy of 9/11. In response, I created a series of drawings in which a sweater unravels in 16 stages. The sweater starts whole and by the end of the series becomes a chaotic tangle of wool no longer suggestive of human form.

In 1983 I was commissioned to create a large ceramic tile mural for the Bank of Boston. As a result of this project I went on to create other, smaller-scale ceramic tile paintings and murals.
Fingerprint Project Watercolors

In this project, I focused on the human fingerprint as visual pattern and metaphor for the precariousness of human rights. The work is based on interviews with individuals who came into conflict with the law. I used their stories and fingerprints to create a large-scale, museum installation.

I have used the medium of watercolor to explore unconventional subjects, such as urban blight, and the more traditional themes of flora and fauna from freshwater and ocean environments.
Images of the New World Commissions

This series of mixed media works focuses on Christopher Columbus’ first encounter with the native people, as well as the flora and fauna, of the Caribbean islands. I learned of his impressions from reading translations of his diary and was moved to create collages which incorporate copies of text from this source as well as maps, illustrations from early engravings, fabric and paint.

I have been awarded commissions for public spaces and have received commissions from private clients for indoor and outdoor projects in a variety of media, such as paintings on steel, ceramics and watercolors.


© 2006–2015 Karen Moss. All rights reserved.