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Ken Katzen

Ken Katzen


Artist Work

Jacob and the Angel
oil on canvas, wood, metalic thread, objects
31"h x 29"w x 2"d
Sorrowful Angel
oil on canvas
36"h x 24"w
Da Vinci Woman
Digital print
High-resolution digital image: print size variable
oil on canvas
24"h x 62"w
Found objects
16"h x 13"w x 18"d
Moishe Polinski Dreams of Children
oil on wood, box, objects, wire
14"h x 20"w x 6"d

Artist Information

Howard County
Artistic Category

Visual Arts

Artist Statement

Fine art - Visual art is about more than sight; It is about vision. How we see a thing is more important than what we see. We color every image with our own experiences, our thoughts and feelings, our deepest memories, and they become part of the perception. The goal of my work is not to depict something, but to convey its spirit and tell a story. The spirit of a subject is what intrigues me. What does this thing engender? What does it wake? What are the resonances deep within me and the viewer? My challenge is to use rich materials, most often paint, ink, and found objects, to wake that spirit in the viewer. Beauty and harmony are important to me, but not so much so that the vision is lost or, worse, oversimplified. I believe in the importance of mystery, the power of wondering and the joy of discovery. Graphic art - I enjoy producing graphic art as well. I love to produce a clean image that will stay in the viewer’s mind. The traditional Japanese artists had it right in their calm simplicity. I create graphic statements that are clearly contemporary and American, but just as clearly influenced by that dynamic between the simple and the bold.

Artist Bio

I  began to draw seriously around the age of 14, when I became enamored by the manuscript calligraphy.I moved on to studying Japanese painting; you can still see its influence in my work– then widened my work as an adult. Growing up, my father and grandfather taught me how to handle tools and materials, reflected now in the joy I get from making assemblages.

I have drawn, painted, and made things virtually my whole life, but I wanted more rigor. So I told my children that when they graduated from college, my dream was to take art courses. Not a week had passed when they looked at me and said ”Well…?” Putting my time where my mouth was, I studied at Maryland Institute College of Art, broadening and deepening my work, earning and going beyond a Certificate in Fine Arts.

With well over 40 years in art, I have worked in many media: silkscreen, calligraphy, graphic arts by hand and computer, oil paint, and assemblage foremost among them. In recent years, I have been concentrating in oil painting, assemblage, and combining hand and digital art.

My work has been in many juried shows, was featured on the cover of Maryland Institute College of Art’s catalog, and is in private collections throughout the United States.