Karen Riebel Kelley’s photographs go beyond the field of vision and the practice of photography: they are vibrations, emotions, and intuitions. Although the camera obscura, and later the camera lucida, emerged during the Renaissance as painting aids, the photograph proper gained popularity for its ability to capture fleeting moments and record far-away lands. Because they were relatively easy to reproduce, early photographs acted as documents: they could traverse time and geographical boundaries to be consumed by others. Karen Riebel Kelley, however, expands the medium’s documentary roots by focusing on what is unseen or overlooked by the human eye. The world is luminous in its possibilities for revelatory moments. Subjects are reclaimed from a world lost to routine and reanimated through a distinct processing of light, texture, and color. The banal becomes fantastical—a site for contemplation. Karen Riebel Kelley began her fine art photography practice in 2009, but has worked in a creative capacity for the majority of her professional life. Her career spans interior design, marketing, website design, and holistic therapies. Each endeavor informs her photographic practice. As an interior design assistant, she contributed to home and commercial projects that included designing furniture, decorative glass panels, and textiles. Her functional design work, which includes posters, cards, brochures, and websites for local businesses and musicians, merges utility with aesthetics. Although captured with a DSLR camera, Karen Riebel Kelley limits the number of prints in each series to evade a mass-produced body of work. There is no definitive line between creative arts, therapy, and material history in Karen Riebel Kelley’s images, as these creative branches coalesce and feed into one another. Drawing on her fine art practice, Karen Riebel Kelley also works as a freelance photographer for Louisville’s music scene, capturing the undercurrents of local auditory flavours. Through her private practice of Cranial-Sacral Therapy she works closely with members of the Louisville Ballet, local actors, and musicians further blending the art and process of healing that is ever present in her work: most recently, she has begun restoring photographs. By slowly correcting the marks time has inflicted on these images, the past can enter the present and the present can enter the past allowing vibrations and emotions to be experienced.
Karen Riebel's ArtPrize Entries
These are Karen Riebel's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.
Karen Riebel's Past Work
These are images of past work that Karen Riebel has done.