"I am a conceptual artist who works in layers. My collections include THE LOST WARHOLS, THE INCLUSION SERIES, THE QUEEN KOLLECTION and THE KING KOLLECTION."
Karen Bystedt is an internationally acclaimed, highly prolific photographer and mixed media artist currently based in Los Angeles. She has published four photography books including Not Just Another Pretty Face (NAL, 1983), The New Breed (HOLT, 1989), Before They Were Famous (GPG, 1994) and They Dared To Dream (OSLO PROD, 1998). She has photographed film stars and rock and roll icons such as Slash, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Drew Barrymore Eddie Van Halen, and Job Bon Jovi. Her work is exhibited in museums across the globe including The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, and The Armenian Museum of Modern Art., and her images have appeared in dozens of publications including Italian Vogue, Vanity Fair, Connoisseur Magazine, The Peninsula Magazine, Fabrik Magazine, InStyle and People. Her work has exhibited and sold at Art Basel at Scope, Red Dot, Art Houston, LA Art Fair, Art Hamptons, and at Port Authority in NYC.
Bystedt is firmly committed to supporting charitable organizations; her work has benefitted amFAR, Amber Lounge benefitting the Special Olympics, and the Venice Family Art Walk. She champions accessibility and brings much of her work to the street – open to unrestricted, unlimited view. Collaboration is a key element of Bystedt’s current artistic approach; over the last four years, she has produced several murals in partnership with streets arts including Cryptik, Nick Flatt, Bisco Smith, Drew Merritt Ralph Ziman and Moncho1929 in Los Angeles, as well as Lee Washington and Chris Flore in Houston. In 2017, she produced her own mural Kings and Queens in Harlem, and a collaborative mural with Bradley Theodore in Soho. In 2018, she wheat-pasted her photographic series, Inclusion, on the streets of downtown LA; she is currently developing an exhibition of the photography collection. Her latest show in April 2018 at The Bruce Lurie Gallery in LA, critically examines contemporary intimacy and romantic, digital communication in the modern era, and features her photography, and neon art, silk screened on Lucite. Bystedt continues to expand her mixed media approach, fusing photography and street art in her work as an individual, whilst forging and supporting artistic communities across the world, discovering and providing platforms for emerging talent, celebrating innovation, eclecticism, and above all – the expression of the self.