Karen Klink is a Barcelona-based Lebanese artist whose radiant and bright illustrations, situated somewhere between the childlike and the paranormal, transfers you to a wonderland on the Mediterranean. To Klink herself, they reflect on never-ending questions about fiction and reality.
What sort of stories are told through your illustrations?
In my illustrations, I prefer to confuse you and dismantle your sense of reality, rather than to tell you the true story. I insist on the fact that each person should have her own interpretation. Most of the time, I try my best not to get bored during the process. That’s how the characters morph and the situations get reinvented and reconstructed. I like to create fictive worlds and mythologies, and to play a game of infinite possibilities: playing around with concepts and ideologies, distorting them, turning them upside down and decontextualising the whole scenery.
My stories are reflections on never-ending questions and fascinations about nature and human behaviour, about our experiences of humility, violence and pleasure, and about obsessive desire, ambition, fight, virtue and sin.
You mention that childhood memories of happy meal toys and bedtime horror stories inspire you. What else?
Since I was a child, my main inspiration has been my interest for fiction. Besides that, most of my creativity originates in the street, my surroundings and music. I also have a bad tendency to over-analyse things, which sometimes leads to interesting things in my work: experiments where amusing links are constructed between nature, products and people’s identities. And then again, the moon.
What place does Beirut have in your illustrations?
My worlds are usually spaceless. For instance, I don’t usually talk about politics, but if I do, it’s not in a serious way at all. But now that you made me think about Beirut, and I’m looking at the contrasting and incoherent fragments of organic randomness and geometrical shapes that I’m creating, where deformed characters are wildly dancing between overlapped dynamics of happiness and fear, I can recognise in them a Beirut of infinite possibilities.