Karen Marchese

Karen Marchese

Marchese Design Studios
Fine Art: Painting, Graphite Photography, Assemblage,
Sculpture, Custom Picture Framing



If I were to term the style of photography I shoot, I’d say semi-abstract. My work is primarily about form and mass, assimilation of two dimensional into three dimensional. Sculptural reference is what I gravitate toward in subject matter. I also appreciate happenstance and the non-staged subject.

My passion for three-D sculptural imagery stems from my child hood; watching my father sculpt late into the night, using metal and a welding torch or throwing ceramic pots, slicing them apart in sections using taut wire to reconstruct; more sculptural art than ceramic vessel, sometimes adding metal accoutrements on sides where handles might be placed: wings as he called them. When Dad was welding in the garage he’d give me a soldering iron and roll of solder to “make sculpture” keeping me busy.

In anything contrast and detail are what attracts and draws the viewer near; light to dark and those interesting little details within. My first photo was with a point and shoot when I was twelve. A photo of contrast; a drainage pipe I’d crawled into, attracted to the interior of this sunlit tube, end-point being a very perfect circular picture.  Fascinated, I ran home for the camera before the light changed. This long corrugated drainage pipe measured about fifteen feet long and two and a half feet in circumference. The blinding  bright reflection of light from the sun in the tube was amazing! At the far end… a fresh, long, grassy, spring green landscape divided in half by a bluest of blue afternoon sky. Even then, for me, photography was about form, mass and contrast. This was to be the perfect photo and I had to get it! I grabbed the point and shoot, asked Dad if there was film in it, got a confirmation and tore off to catch the moment. Before that day photography was merely interesting, after that day it was doable… and mine.

Also being attracted to the tangibility of metal, I’ve salvaged baskets and boxes of interesting gems (too cool to let go of) for some 20 odd years. Shiny, dull, circular, square and irregular shapes of all sorts. As of 2013, I started utilizing these treasures, creating assemblage/collage mounted on block. In anything, contrast and detail are what attracts and draws the viewer near; light to dark and those interesting little details within.

Karen M. Marchese
Artist / Photographer / Sculptor