Playa del Rey, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Karen Safer is a photographic artist, documentarian, published writer and poet with a musical bent. As a fifth generation native Angelino, she was given a camera and crayons at 3 and exposed to dominant California motifs: light, palm trees, the ocean, music and vernacular architecture that helped define and influence her left-handed aesthetic. She was influenced by her dad (educator and calligrapher) who developed black & white photos in their back washroom/turned darkroom and by her mother’s thirst for knowledge and travel. She was fortunate to begin a life of travel as a pre-teen that shaped her love of the exotic paired with an eye for the formal, accidental and unusual while subliminally seeking the “beautiful” that jiggles the lens/frame of her eye. From the onset she documented her surroundings and family and friends’ events. During COVID she photographed from her balcony and was dubbed the “Monet of Playa del Rey.” She has been in over 10 solo shows and 200+ juried and group exhibitions in London, Rome, Glasgow, Zurich, Budapest, Barcelona, Athens, Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, Belgium, Hawaii, Canada and from California to New York and from Minnesota to Santa Fe, to Florida, winning 150+ Talent, Merit, Honorable Mention and Special Recognition Awards. She has traveled and photographed in over 230 countries (and territories). She is a member of many art organizations. Initially, she began painting and printmaking alongside art and architectural history before wholly embracing photography with influences from Mesopotamia to Vermeer/Matisse and Atget to Cindy Sherman. She is a self-described “romantic soul” with intellectual cravings. She received a bachelor and master’s degree with honors in art from UCLA and CSULB. Her career includes work in design and architecture firms and principle of ArtFocus International. A photographer has the whole world – big or small – to capture.
I got a camera and some crayons as a kid, journeyed along a path in life - far from what I'd expected, moved from youth to middle age, did some work, had some fun, got high, got low, and just continue doing it - never tiring of the next visual surprise. - Life is still a mystery, after all.