Sherry Karver


Pushing traditional boundaries of oil painting, photography, and text, I have combined them to create a unique hybrid that confronts today's individual and societal issues so rampant in our impersonal metropolitan areas: alienation, loneliness, loss of identity, the passage of time, memory, self-image, and how others view us.

These mixed media, photo-based works originate from photographs I have taken on city streets in New York, Paris, Milan, etc. and in iconic buildings such as Grand Central Terminal and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY.

Writing text over some of the figures in my photos is a way to personalize individuals, and make them stand out from the crowd since we each have a unique story to tell.  These brief narratives are from my imagination, based solely on one's appearance or stance. By using text in my work, it adds another layer, and gives the viewer a chance to “experience” the artwork, and relate to the characters, becoming part of the process by reading it.

I superimpose these ”biographies” on top of the individuals, almost as if they are wearing their stories like an article of clothing. I give a little bit of fictional history about the person; where they are from, their age, what they do, their hopes, their dreams and aspirations, and often something embarrassing or personal that they would rather not have revealed. The figures are often caught in movement, conveying our individual journeys, where we are all "collectively alone".

I often incorporate ‘ghost-like apparitions’ that fade out in the background. These figures represent the passage of time – all the people that have been in the exact same place but at a different moment – maybe only five minutes before, or ten years in the future. We are all connected in this time continuum, even if we aren’t aware of it. My work embraces the contemporary non-linear view of time with its randomness, spontaneity, and chance occurrences.

These are one-of-a-kind works on wood panels, (not photo editions), and all of the color is hand-painted with oil glazes. The final surface has a glossy UV resin coating.