Karen Gersch for the #12 Vassar St Gallery exhibition

Karen Gersch for the #12 Vassar St Gallery exhibition forSept. 5 through Oct. 19th


DUAL EXHIBITION at Cunneen-Hackett

by Karen E. Gersch

Sept. 5 through Oct. 19th, 2017

“Ruins of War”

Sadly, the connective tissue of war – ANY war = or act of terrorism, genocide,

conscious violence against a culture, a community, an ethnicity; still prevails and still

shatters us on a daily basis. The obliteration of and damage to lives and families, whole

neighborhoods and races, creates pain, destruction and unfathomable loss. The world orbits

in ignited fury.

Global leaders cannot or do not seek intervention, curative actions, pragmatic

solutions. The wounded and slain have no voices and little means of recovery, let alone

restitution. I have no answers. No blueprints for healing or stopping the evil that causes one

society to assault another. I can only offer portraits of wounded lives and the smoldering

aftermath. An insight into what remains when the smoke and ashes of fallen cities, lands

and people, dissipate.

If only, as John Lennon sang, we could “give peace a chance”.

Karen E. Gersch



DUAL EXHIBITION at Cunneen-Hackett

by Karen E. Gersch

Sept. 5 through Oct. 19th, 2017

“Circus Lives”

There are people who liken circus to chaos and pandemonium. One often hears – in

instances of frenetic activity – that a situation is “just like a circus”. It’s really an unfair

reference. Circus is the most precise and orderly world I know.

Having traveled with, performed in and chronicled – through sketches and paint – the

lives and spirits of its denizens for forty years, I can attest that circus artists and their acts

are as finely tuned, disciplined and practiced as any surgical, engineering or military

endeavor. Even better, circus is a universal art form. There are no barriers to appreciating

its beauty and mystique; neither age, language, ethnicity nor religion.

I recall an old episode of the Mod Squad, whose closing line still haunts me: “Men go

to the moon and wonder. Children go to the circus and understand”.

Welcome to my favorite place – the round world – where flight, risk and comedy

pirouette. From the back lot to the center ring, it’s an empire full of visual heroism and

grace. While its artists possess a vitality that seems superhuman, their movements and skills

appear effortless.

In the early 80’s, I toured southern France with a small, one-ring tented show. My

moonlit portraits of that “sleeping circus” depict a life that seems to hover in mist, gentle as

dreams. But the quietude outside the tent always struck me in contrast to the fiery energy

within. Between sequins and sawdust, there always swings a visual impact of color, line and

light. From the communion of acrobats midway in flight to the complex simplicity of

clowns. From the moment before an aerialist descends to the jubilant balance of dancers on


It is this suspense and magic I strive to capture. To depict not just the craft, but to

invoke the power and passion that makes circus such a vital entity. Any circus, well presented,

will lift its audience out of their seats and into its charged air. I hope that these

artworks will do the same.

Karen E. Gersch