Karena Karras

Karena Karras is a known Chicago surrealist artist whose luminous paintings have been compared to that of the early Flemish masters.
The paintings by Karena A. Karras reflect a metamorphosis involving the intrinsic interplay between the collective unconscious and the tactile realm of the senses.
Through the utilization of the study of mythology, psychology, philosophy, and metaphysics, fantasy and the world of dreams, her work becomes a visual and tangible representation of an interplay between these worlds. The artwork acts as a doorway through which the collective unconscious can find it's way into the realm of our perceived reality and becomes integrated with the sensory and empirical aspects of the conscious mind's perceptions.
Karena is a contemporary surrealist painter whose work speaks a universal language based upon archetypes. Her work is mainly about metamorphosis in that it reflects the intrinsic interplay between the collective unconscious, or the spiritual, and the tactile realm of the senses and conscious mind. With and through the utilization of the study of mythology, psychology, philosophy, the spiritual, alchemy, metaphysics, fantasy and the world of dreams, Karras's work attempts at a visual projection of an interplay between these worlds. The work reveals what lies deep within us all and exists as Carl Jung termed, "the shadow side" of our nature. It rises to the surface, untouched by time or place, yet transforming and regenerating, or better, challenging our widely accepted ideas concerning reality.

Metamorphosis and transition play a large part throughout the work, serving to formulate a process of revelation unique to each individual interpretation. Stylized long necked human figures are hybridized and become one with the exotic natural forces that surround them. The human figure becomes one with a tree, or the ground, as the hair transforms into vegetation or flowing streams, and roots sprout from the ankles to become parts of trees or entangled in the decaying undergrowth of a forest floor or the inside of a cave. Parts of bodies sprout leaves and flowers grow instead of hair.

The metamorphic imagery in my work is primarily based upon years of study concerning the nature of reality that lies behind the so called veil of appearances and the interconnectedness or oneness of all things that some refer to as the 'collective unconscious'. Insights and visions seen by some as primitive are really just a momentary connection to the inherent nature that exists within all of us. It only remains necessary to look within and draw these images to the surface. This is what I attempt. Painting for me is a form of meditation. Metamorphosis for me is a reality



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