Studio: Spaceworks Long Island City

Discipline: Painting, Collage & Mixed Media

Based In: NYC

Website: Karen Mainenti

Everyone knows what toilet paper is, but how many have examined the delicate and beautiful pattern that is printed on it? Moreover, is there something that this pattern reveals about the society we live in? Are there things in front of us that we scarcely notice and yet are essential to how we think and feel?

My work is a frequent re-engagement of such ubiquitous or overlooked materials—toilet paper, vintage toys, makeup—as well as appropriated text and images from advertising and media. I look to reframe these messages, often with humor, to show the absurdity and unnatural expectations that society has come to accept as ordinary. Definitions of femininity and gender are in constant flux, and never more so than they are today. My drawings, collages, paintings, tracings and transfers are an essential and urgent exploration of the volatile nature of sexuality.

Through transforming these materials, I am able to rewrite some of the past—and present—and demystify those nostalgic and unconscious tropes we have about society and femininity.

 

EDUCATION

BA Fine Arts, Fairfield University

 

EXHIBITIONS
2016
Cosmetology, Society for Domestic Museology, New York, NY
Color, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), Brooklyn, NY (Juried by Lilian Tone, Assistant Curator, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY)
BAS Member Salon, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Dirtier Words: Baltimore, Guest Spot @ The Reinstitute, Baltimore, MD
Introductions 2016, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2015
eXXpectations, Cornell Museum of Art, Delray Beach, FL
You’ve Got Mail! Summer Exhibition, Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Art Space Summer Member Salon, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Wide Open 6, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), Brooklyn, NY (Juried by Rojeko Hockley, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn
Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY)
Recycle, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), Brooklyn, NY (Juried by Elissa Goldstone, Director of Exhibitions, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long
Island City, NY)
Brooklyn Art Space Winter Member Salon, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2014
DUMBO Underfoot, 2014 Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY
The ABCs of Plastic Surgery, Chashama 266 Gallery, New York, NY
Color, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), Brooklyn, NY (Juried by Lauren Hinkson, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn, NY)

2013
The Exquisite Uterus Project (Power, Politics, and Performance: Gender, Art& Resistance), Steinhilber Gallery, UW-Oshkosh, WI

2012

Featured Artist, Recession Art, New York, NY
It’s A Small, Small World, Family Business, New York, NY

2006
Racing Pages: Altered Books Portfolio, National Museum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History, New York, NY