North Train Station
Ganz's piece is located above the entrance to the train that takes you to the North Satellite.
The artwork consists of nine paintings that undulate from right to left across the 110-foot wall expanse in a choreographed way. The paintings are designed to work off the energy of the people using the space and the arrival and departure of the trains. Mounted on stretcher bars, some of the paintings overlap each other to provide varying degrees of depth. The LED sign band and ceiling above frame the paintings while the train doors provide another kind of rhythmic break.
"The layering and disjuncture are as beautiful to me as a simple one-note beauty is to someone else." – Karen Ganz
Paintings (oil on overlapped and hinged canvases)
5' high x 9' 2" in length
The technique used to create Travelor began with images lifted through various scanning and copying processes, allowing the artist to lift images from newspaper and apply the figures to canvases.
Karen Ganz is known for her large-scale comic strip paintings and her manipulated and hinged canvases that provide inherent dimension. Her subject, often described as “the common man,” shares many similarities with vintage comic strip characters. Unlike the cartoons, however, her color-splashed figures are disjointed slapstick; the travelers sometimes turn their back on their own reflections as if they stand hunched in front of a funhouse mirror.
Ganz attended UC Berkeley and earned her B.F.A. and then received her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa a few years later. With a short-lived background in dance and punk music, Ganz developed an interest in fragmented movement. Her paintings are known for their nostalgic yet complicated humor, suggesting a “concern for the predicament of the ‘common man.’” She has been shown in over forty exhibitions throughout the nation but is primarily represented on the West Coast.
At the Airport
Karen Ganz uses oil paint to evoke emotion through the vibrating rhythm of color. Check out Beverly Buchanan's work at Sea-Tac, titled Vesta Community, in which Buchanan uses oil pastel for an intention similar to that of Ganz's. Follow the STQRY link below in the Connected Stories module to see Vesta Community.
Influenced by 1920s cartoon and comic strip characters, the artwork explores the rituals of travel.