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Pillow Talk

A peek inside Karen Ann Myers’ Redux studio; photograph by Ruta Elvikyte

January 30, 2013

Pillow Talk
Karen Ann Myers takes art to the bedroom with thought-provoking contemporary paintings

written by Katie Hurst

Karen Ann Myers may be the assistant director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, but her own career as a contemporary artist is also taking off—last year, she was named one of Oxford American magazine’s “100 Under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art.” With an MFA in painting and women’s studies coursework under her belt, she’s become known for tackling topics of femininity and identity in her portraits of scantily clad young women in their bedrooms.

And this Friday, February 1, a solo exhibition of her latest pieces, “Mouthful of Diamonds,” opens at Robert Lange Studios with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. We sat down with Karen to learn a bit more about her and her work—find out what she had to say.

On her latest exhibit: The paintings are therapeutic in a way. It’s me trying to understand what it means to be a young woman in contemporary society. I think of all my paintings as self-portraits. My friends are stand-ins for myself.

About the more risqué aspects of her work: I’m not trying to hit people over the head with anything, but I am trying to spark dialogue on sexuality and identity. I enjoy presenting topics that make people uncomfortable.

Her almost career: I actually decided on pharmacy, but it was just so boring. As a pharmacy intern, I became obsessed with the variety of colors and structures of the pills. I would arrange them into patterns on the tray while filling prescriptions.

Go-to for inspiration:
My fashion magazines. They help me with poses for figures. Right now, I’m really into Navajo textiles, too.

Favorite vacation spot: I’ve told people that I’m going on vacation, and I’m actually in my living room, just painting. I’ve gone five days without stepping foot out of my apartment.

Secret ambition: I want to say “world domination” but that just sounds ridiculous. Essentially, I want to dominate my world.

“Mouthful of Diamonds” is on exhibit from February 1-22 at Robert Lange Studios, 2 Queen St. Open daily from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Learn more by calling (843) 805-8052 or visiting

To find out more about Myers and view her work, click here.

Our February issue is now on stands! View selected content, plus online extras, here.

Wed, 01/30/2013