I am a classically trained painter and multidisciplinary artist. Exploring the relationship between trauma and identity through transposing portraiture onto unstable or anamorphic media gives me a way to create a physical representation of memory loss, hallucinatory states, body integrity and dissociative episodes. In an effort to transmute the transcendent into a visual form, I am creating a reliquary of phenomena.

I spend time investigating alienation from myself. I think about collective trauma and the ways of representing the internal and experiential. I am in search of the processes and rituals we explore to mend the psyche. If we emerge from a reactive state, into a productive present one, we can attempt to escape the trauma we physically retain. These ideas materialize as abstracted, disrupted portrait paintings, or maximalist installations embodying sacred objects I’ve given vibrancy to. It’s photography embodying elements of the feelings of baking in the Southern California sun or the quietness of the New England frigid cold. I also use sculpture, glasswork, printmaking and sometimes video work to explore these ideas.

Originally from Southern California, I am heavily influenced by the cultural patois and palette of the West Coast. Spanning from the sprawling neon and smog-diffused coastal energy of Los Angeles to the austere warmth of the desert interior, the region is ingrained in the work I create— not only in color, but in the plasticky sun-bleached textures and feelings. 

I strive to speak truth and the power of empathy and optimism through my art. I look for the beautiful amongst the harsh realities of life, and my work reflects a desire to find solace and healing in the sublime. 

Email- Karlijanellart@gmail.com
Instagram- @ilrak
Twitter- @karlijanell

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