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Image Transfer Print with Graphite, Prismacolor, and Acrylic
17 " x 11"
This work, Shame by Karen Gjelten Stone is part of the artist's ongoing
"Eve Series," her response to the evocative image of a veiled woman's face that
persisted in her mind's eye. Once she began working on the series,
Stone had a growing sense of the covered face as metaphor not only for
oppression from the outside, but for a strong and stubborn inner spirit, a private life, shared secrets.
Masaccio's 15th Century Adam being expelled from Paradise came to mind,
and she reflected on those times when she hides from others (as all humans do),
for whatever reason: Self-protection. Shame. Embarrassment. Regret. Fear. Anxiety. Exhaustion. Sorrow.
Or simply to tend her inner life without distraction.
Artworks in the Eve Series start as photographic self-portraits in which the artist covers her face.
These she combines with textures of the forest—a place of fecundity, origins, death and rebirth—
as well as gauze and other fabrics that evoke shroud or veil, simultaneously revealing and hiding.
But the choice of imagery is intuitive rather than intentionally symbolic.
Typical of her working style, Stone always has many artworks in process;
in this series she uses a camera, scanner,
and copy machine as well as frottage (or rubbing) and direct drawing.
Next she prints the results on paper, canvas, or wood using an image-transfer process.
Finally, she draws and paints into the surface with a
variety of media over a period of time—sometimes years.
The title Shame came late in the process, as always, as the artwork gained a voice.