I think this is the first article anyone ever wrote about my artwork. I exhibited in Sweet Babas restaurant in Armory Square, which is an area in downtown Syracuse, NY, referred to as the Karen section of town in the 1980s by my cousin Nick, when it was just art frame shops and antique stores. I think I was the only one who ever went down there back then.
Sweet Babas was built between two buildings so the exposed brick from the facades was the interior walls. I loved the way my paintings looked in that place – I think it was something like seven feet wide and so it was an intimate dining experience. I sold the painting pictured for $200. It was one of my first oil and collage paintings, called Jacks, with card jacks as well as the metal game pieces.
For some reason, I really love that this article is plagued with typos. You know how it goes – when you think you’ve finally “arrived” as a force to be reckoned with in the art arena, that you think you’re a big fish in the small sea of your local town – it’s just funny. The artist Linda Bigness once told me that I would have to paint for twenty-five years before I’d get any real recognition (something like that) and in a way she was right. It took me about twenty-five years to decide to create this website!
The above article is from The Syracuse New Times, from around the same time because at the bottom where it says Art Around Town, they list my Sweet Babas show. I’ve always loved captive audiences because they do not come for the art but they may fall in love with it and that emotional attachment can lead to a sale and even a life long patron, which is why I used to (and still do!) solicit for shows in restaurants and coffee shops, and libraries. In this article, the author responds to the Goodyear blimp in my Pompano paintings as atomic bombs. I have mentioned this to my students during lessons on art criticism. Interpretation in the art criticism format is what you think the artist was trying to tell you – like why they made the paintings. Maybe my playful Florida landscapes contained this ominous item and meant that life is fragile. In a way, my life in Florida had its demise so maybe there is an underlying truth to her interpretation, but let me be honest and say that clearly, I was not that “deep” when I painted them. The blimp is simply another device in my repertoire that reoccurs throughout the years. You can take the girl out of Pompano but you can’t take the Pompano out of me.
Karen Tashkovski, Deerfield Beach, 36″ x 48″, 1990, acrylic & collage, $1,000
Karen Tashkovski, Pompano Beach, 36″ x 48″, 1994, oil & collage, $1,000
Karen Tashkovski, White Pompano, 36″ x 48″, 1998, oil & collage, $1,000
Karen Tashkovski, Three Crosses, 36″ x 48″, 1995, oil & collage, $1,000