Deborah Carrino celebrates the drawings and paintings of her sister Karen, who died in a car accident in 1972 at the age of 19. This collection features 124 works on the subject of young children.
Karen Carrino's drawings and paintings of children reveal a depth of feeling and a level of craft that are remarkable in such a young artist. Her tragic death in a 1972 car accident, just a few days after her nineteenth birthday, is all the more poignant in view of the artistic legacy she left behind. With this collection of 124 works on the subject of young children, Deborah Carrino celebrates her sister's great talent and shares Karen's love for the special inner qualities of children, which are revealed in skillfully rendered figures, extraordinary attention to detail, and an ability to capture the elusive and intertwined emotions of her subjects.
Karen saw children as lively and truthful, natural and unhidden, in a way that adults often aren't. Occasionally she drew or painted children together but usually she focused on the nature and spirit of individuals, capturing the distinctive beauty and personality of each child. "I want to free children", she told a reporter for the Jersey Journal, who was writing a story about her clay sculpture of a crying infant. In all of her work there is no distracting background, nothing to stand between the viewer and the child, so that Karen's work gives us the chance to attend to the child as seriously, and respectfully, as she did. Her own quiet strength becomes apparent in the clear focus and straightforwardness of her work.
The only art lessons Karen ever received were from her eighth-grade and high school art teachers. The rest of her craft came as naturally to her as the feelings she expressed through her art. In the eleventh grade she won a statewide poster contest in New York. In the twelfth grade her work was shown in a high school artshow and was singled out for special mention in an article in the local newspaper. She worked in all media — graphite, charcoal, colored pencils, watercolor, oil — and, shortly before her death, she had embarked on sculpting. She saw art as stemming from clarity of vision; if you could see well, you could draw, she believed. Her short life was astonishingly focused, and her clarity of vision and power to express it are evident to all who view these amazing works of art.
Deborah Carrino, an artist in her own right, has had her work shown alongside Karen's at the Paterson Museum in Paterson, New Jersey. She is currently developing a traveling exhibition of her sister's work, and she continues to search for more of what rem
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