Gabel Karsten

Region: West

I think of my sink paintings both as portraits and as still lifes.

Nearly all the sinks belong in some way to people I know. With color, painting style, and consideration of the objects that adorn the sinks' edges, I try to create a portrait that reveals a feeling I have about each sink's owner. Bathroom sinks are especially revealing. They exist within an intimate and personal space, one in which we are often alone and completely ourselves. Like a mirror, I imagine these sinks to reflect some of their owner's inner workings. Other, unknown sinks are ones I have come across in my travels. In painting these sinks I try to capture a mood I experienced at that particular place or my state of mind at the time of painting.

As still lifes, I want my work to draw attention to the beauty I see in these familiar objects that we encounter daily - the way the light falls into the basin, the shapes of the faucets and the shadows they cast, the folds of a towel, a crumpled toothpaste tube.

I use photographs I take as reference. It is important to me to capture images exactly as I find them. To disturb them would be to alter the story.