Karen Safer is a photographic and digital artist, published writer, and poet with a musical bent. As a native fifth-generation Angelino, she was given a camera and crayons at 3 and exposed to dominant California motifs: light, palm trees, the ocean, music, and vernacular architecture that helped define and influence her left-handed aesthetic. She was influenced by her dad who developed black & white photos in their back washroom/turned darkroom and by her mother’s thirst for knowledge and travel.
She was fortunate to begin a life of travel as a pre-teen which shaped her love of the exotic paired with an eye for the formal, accidental, and unusual while subliminally seeking the “beautiful” that jiggles the lens/frame of her eye. From the onset, she documented her surroundings and family and friends’ events.
Moving from Instamatics to Nikons, she scouted for or accidentally discovered the subject to frame, dancing around it; the process has always been the main event and excitement. During COVID she was photographed from her balcony and was dubbed the “Monet of Playa del Rey.”
She has traveled and photographed in over 230 countries (and territories). After a hiatus of 12 years, she began exhibiting again nationally and internationally in juried and group shows, winning many awards and competitions with inclusions in public and private collections, and is a member of many art and other organizations.
Initially, she began painting and printmaking alongside the study of art and architectural history before wholly embracing photography with influences from Mesopotamia to Vermeer/Matisse and Atget to Cindy Sherman. She is a self-described “romantic soul” with intellectual cravings, currently residing in Playa del Rey, CA.
She received a master’s degree with honors in art studying at CSULB and UCLA. Her career includes work in design and architecture firms and is the principal of ArtFocus International.