Every single morning, for the entire year 2016, Karen Fisher had a very particular routine. As she finished her breakfast, she would open a fashion magazine, amidst a collection of international Vogue, W, Elle, and National Geographic, and start turning the pages. After a first look, she would go back but this time tearing up every page that she found interesting. Looking specifically for hand and feet gestures, animals, patterns, flowers, and anything botanical, Fisher would then take the torn pages and start to edit them. Once the final selection was made, armed with a scalpel, she went on to start cutting shapes from the pages and began assembling them on an 11×14 sheet of paper, like a collagist version of Dr. Frankenstein. The final touch: adding a signature, the date, the source, and a title that would match each experience.
“When I finished the project, I immediately wanted to see all of them together in one space” she explained, “since they are fashion-oriented, I wanted to show them in New York City during Fashion Week.” A year and a half later, her 366 collages are now all on display at 208 Bowery, the same week models start walking down the runway of NYC’s prestigious Fashion Week.
Presented in collaboration with Beckie Warren, from the Instagram account Girl Sees Art, this exhibition titled “Paper Dolls” features paintings alongside the numerous collages. Fisher utilizes social media as a way to ask her followers which collages she should turn into paintings. Through this polling, she was helped to identify 12 collages, one for each month, which she then used as inspiration for new mixed-media paintings.
Whether it’s her contagious good mood or the generosity of her practice (you don’t often see a solo exhibition featuring more than 300 artworks by the same artist), it’s hard not to appreciate the many talents and qualities of this former fifteen-year high school English teacher. Living between Dayton, Ohio, and Denver, Colorado, Karen Fisher works full-time on her artwork and has been able to do so since 2012. Fisher also occasionally teaches at the Art Student League in Denver, CO, where for the last twenty years she attended classes and was trained in oil painting as well as mixed media art. When asked what she planned next she enthusiastically responded, “London fashion week in 2020!”
We wish her the best and invite you to go visit her Bowery exhibition until September 16th.
208 Bowery / September 7-16 2018 | 11 am – 7 pm
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