Sherry Karver pushes the parameters of traditional painting by combining digital imagery with oil glazes and written narratives. She begins with a black & white print, building up color by hand using the old masters technique of applying thin layers of glazes. Her subjects are crowded urban scenes with isolated snapshots of wishful thinking.
Karver adds text over certain figures in an attempt to individualize them and communicate their own unique story. She takes the anonymity out of strangers in a crowd, hence the title of the show Private Stories / Public Places. These writings are sometimes hilarious and sometimes poignant, but always wry. The brief biographies are from her imagination, and often reveal intimate details.
Through story telling, Karver invites the viewer to experience the artwork, becoming part of the process by reading it, rather than simply looking at a picture from a distance. Karver says, “I superimpose biographies on top of figures, almost as if they are wearing their stories like an article of clothing. I try to give a little bit of history about the person: their hopes, their dreams, and often something personal that they would rather not reveal.”
Karver embraces a contemporary nonlinear view of time with its randomness, spontaneity, and chance occurrences. Surfaces are intentionally glossy so that in various lights the viewer can see his or her own reflection. In certain paintings, fleeting images of travelers become barely visible. Using translucent layers, ephemeral figures - including the viewer - pass through the crowd.
This is Karver’s second solo exhibition at Kim Foster Gallery. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally and is included in over 150 private and corporate collections. She has been featured on the cover of over a dozen books and magazines.