In Residence: Karen Bondarchuk’s Corvids

Karen Bondarchuk’s series of corvids commands attention. She’s been focusing on these birds for several years, as well as work that has recently come to include the Wild West of Edward S. Curtis photographs and the 1952 film, High Noon. She cites also “The near extinction and relocation of every indigenous presence standing in the way of Manifest Destiny” as a potent influence as well.

Karen's birds are beautifully rendered, caught in candid moments, mid-animation. Enlarged to an “up close and personal’ size, they’re rather unsettling, with their beady eyes fixed on us. But the fact they’re so large and in most cases, consigned to the lower part of the composition so their forms are partially cut off, adds visual whammy. In some, Karen goes even further, introducing letters and words, and such oddities as a floating bottle cap—perhaps a halo above the un-saintly crow? In one, a slashing line of red, a beautiful gesture in and of itself, suggests blood. These are works that combine consummate technical skill with imagination and dash.


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