top of page

Kara Joslyn


Kara Joslyn — Born in San Diego, CA. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Represented by M+B, Los Angeles. 


Kara Joslyn’s enigmatic paintings describe a floating, liminal world of masked figures, geometric forms and moons. Her works offer a view into symbolic spaces, dreamlike tableaux of the unconscious, that Joslyn teases into being on the paintings' surfaces.


Joslyn’s figurative works recontextualize found images of paper sculptures from 20th century instructional books. These transformed craft objects engage with art historical narratives and Americana, where story-telling becomes a mirror, revealing the interdependence of the symbolic and the real. Optical illusion, trompe l’oeil, and holographic pigments lend a futurity to her paintings, which are airbrushed with polymer-based car paints that sparkle with rainbow mini-flake iridescence and change from color to gray scale, depending on the viewer’s vantage point.

Joslyn’s airbrushed paintings are primarily black and white, revealing her strong relationship to drawing, DIY zines, photocopy machines and a love of black toner. The methods she has developed are inspired by pre-computer graphic design techniques. Joslyn paints without ever touching the surface with more than air-pressure from her airbrush gun. 

Her painted images, set against black space, pull from sensibilities of Baroque painting, Southern California Light and Space Art, and punk flyers. The matte finish of the airbrushed surface refuses to reflect the viewer’s image, and instead, absorbs light in a fantastical rendered space.

Joslyn received her BFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2008, completed post-baccalaureate studies in Painting at Columbia University in NYC in 2011, and graduated with an MFA from the  University of California in San Diego in 2016. She received the Russell Foundation Grant for her work with Holography, and was a two-time nominee for the Robert Motherwell Foundation MFA Fellowship in Painting and Sculpture.


Bad Girls 2021 - Featured Work

Bad Girls Installation_Artwork Doc-1 - CROPPED.jpg


Who Are You?, 2021

acrylic and polymer automotive paint on

canvas panel

152.4 x 243.8 cm - 60 x 96 inches


Courtesy of the Artist and M+B, Los Angeles. 

bottom of page