Karen Bystedt

Karen Bystedt rocked the contemporary art world with the USA introduction of The Lost Warhols, at Photo LA, 2013. The body of work was quickly selected to headline the Month of Photography in Los Angeles Show, at The Robert Berman Gallery in Bergamot Station. In an April, Fabrik Magazine, cover story, Berman characterized Bystedt’s Andy Warhol show as, “an austere and powerful look at one of the most celebrated artists of the Twentieth century.” After studying photography and literature at the American College in Paris, the young artist returned to the United States and earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Film, at New York University, in 1982. It was while she was a student in New York, that she photographed Warhol at The Factory. Karen Bystedt has lived and worked on four continents which has left her multilingual and culturally at ease at navigating through a diverse cacophony of international cultures. Bystedt moved firmly into photographing celebrity movie stars, when they were young and unknown. She has written the narratives and interviews that accompany the four books of glamour shots she has published; NOT JUST ANOTHER PRETTY FACE (1983), THE NEW BREED (1988), BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS (1992) and, THEY DARED TO DREAM (2009). Bystedt’s artistic strength is her ability to establish an intimate trust with those shoots, she engages them on-camera and then makes them look beautiful – a skill well honed on Warhol – and one the photographer uses in her art. Her strong images of iconic men brands them as totemic markers of their times. After finding her LOST WARHOL negatives in 2011 she began collaborations with other artists including Peter Tunney, Speedy Graphito, and Gregory Siff. Her work is the permanent collections of the Andy Warhol Museum, the Museum of Modern Art of Armenia, The Hearst Foundation, The Lourdes Foundation, Prince Albert of Monaco collection, Tomasso Buti, George Lopez, David Caruso and The Dean Collection (Swizz Beatz) among others. Recently in n 2016, one of her limited edition photographs of Andy Warhol was acquired by the A. Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo. In 2012 Ms. Bystedt donated a Warhol Artist Proof to amFAR Milan which also included artists, Damian Hirst, Rauchenberg and Chris Makos. The first artist Warhol proof was auctioned by Sharon Stone and was acquired by Tomasso Buti. Ms. Bystedt received a Thank you letter from Kenneth Cole thanking her for raising 50,000 Euros as one of the highest bids of the night. Ms. Bystedt also donated an Artist Proof to the Amber Lounge Grand Prix event to benefit “The Special Olympics” where her limited edition print was acquired by Prince Albert of Monaco in 2012. Bystedt produced her first mural sponsored by Branded Arts in collaboration with Cryptik and Nick Flatt portraying her iconic image of Andy holding the American Flag as part of an ongoing project she created ” Bringing Andy To the Streets.” The first Bystedt mural of Andy Warhol is set in a prominent location on Fairfax Ave across CBS and The Grove and was named one of 10 best murals in Los Angeles of 2014 by the LA Weekly. Bystedt’s mixed media collaboration works have been exhibited at Art Basel, Art Houston, LA Art Fair as well as the Iris Gallery In Aspen and Samara Gallery in Houston. Her work is currently at Art Angels Los Angeles. The artist-photographer currently resides in a loft in downtown, Los Angeles.

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