Flora / Fauna
30 Woodland Rd
Maplewood, NJ 07040
→ View Karen Bokert's Gallery
What a privilege to spend one''s life in art! I began my adventures as a painter by attending the Art Students League while in my teens. At Wagner College, when our professor took us to the beach to paint the run down shacks on a gray, windy day, the world disappeared and only me and my canvas and the moment remained - I knew then that painting would be my life's work.
I graduated from the Universidad de las Americas, Mexico City, went on to study at the Academia in Florence, with Oskar Kokoschka in the Sommerakademie in Salzburg and Impressionism with Henry Hensche in Provincetown. My horizons broadened. The highlight of my student years, however, was studying with the brilliant intelectual and giant of modernism Robert Motherwell while getting my M.A. in Art at Hunter College.
Realizing that each teacher had his own gifts to offer and that there is no definitive answer to creating a painting, I began working on my own.
I sought to express the way I felt at the time about my life, inventing and rearranging forms and colors on the canvas in order to bring about works that reflected my state of being. I love the freedom of expression, the excitement of journeying into the unknown, the sensuous brushstrokes, and the accidental discoveries of painting an abstract work.
I found myself being drawn to different cultures. After a trip to India, the power of that experience was reflected in my paintings. More recently, jouneys to New Mexico left me totally enamored of the culture of the Native Americans - the colors and textures of the southwestern landscape, the costumes and faces of the native inhabitants, their sense of beauty, and much more, was absorbed into my work for many years. My Native American paintings are contemporary interpretations of that ancient culture.
My recent work reflects my roots in abvstraction with a suggestion of surrealism.In this increasingly mechanized society there is a need for intense, immediate, subtile, vivid, warm and rhythmic experience.
Realizing that the artist is on a road with no final destination, my work continues to evolve.