Karen Goulekas-01

Local Venice Artist Karen Goulekas

My Venice Life Special Feature Article by: Tryg Hanson

Art by Karen Goulekas, exhibited at Venice Art Walk 2014

Art by Karen Goulekas, exhibited at Venice Art Walk 2014. photo: Janet Gervers

Local Venice Artist Karen Goulekas has been a Photo Artist for years but her day job as a Visual Effects Supervisor kept getting in the way. With a lot of big studio films now being made outside of California it gave her the free time to pursue photography. Her first two photo series came about while on location for Looper, an indie film starring Bruce Willis. The first series “Abandoned”, features photos taken in post-Katrina New Orleans at an old Sugar Mill and a vacated Six Flags theme park. “It was the creepiest place I’ve ever been. Everybody had guns.” she said while relating an unsettling encounter with four armed men in a pickup truck who were alligator hunting amongst the old deserted rides.

The second series is called “Chinese Laundry” also shot on location for Looper, this time in Shanghai, China. The photos are unintentionally controversial, “I’m not making fun of the people” she clarified, “I think it’s totally cool.” Karen shoots in color, meticulously enhances the foreground colors in Photoshop then turns the background black and white. But it’s printing the images on tin that gives the photos their hi-tech, modern look.

“As a kid I was always trying to draw and I was terrible. People told me ‘no Karen you should write’. That was my natural skill set.” She went on to become a published author and writes humorous, topical daily limericks on her blog. But being a visual person she followed her original passion and became a TV Digital Artist, eventually working in New York City. Karen then moved to Los Angeles in 1993 with a plan to break into the film industry, (hmm that sounds familiar). She did Visual Effects at various studios then switched over to the production side, working directly with film producers as a Visual Effects Supervisor. You’ve probably seen her FX work in such films as Titanic, Apollo 13, Spiderman and The Day After Tomorrow to name but a few.

You can see more of Karen’s artwork at the Miakel Bishay Salon on 2919 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405 or at http://kegart.com.