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Karen Turner

Karen Turner is known for her award-winning portrait paintings celebrating larger bodies.
Karen’s artwork subverts the traditionally narrow view of who can be considered beautiful.
Karen’s paintings were selected for the Portraits for NHS Heroes Exhibition, 2020.

Born in London in 1978, Suffolk-based artist Karen Turner is known for her award-winning figure and portrait paintings. Her oil works commonly offer a commentary on the weight of expectations. Karen studied in Geneva before returning to the UK to attend Hampstead Fine Arts College in London.

Rejecting Social Expectations with Karen Turner

Karen examines the inherent social bias against fat women, using her paintings to subvert the traditionally narrow view of who can be considered beautiful. She sensitively presents her subjects in a way that normalises and celebrates larger bodies. A liberating rawness and expansiveness extend across her figurative works, beckoning viewers to embrace every curve, fold, and angle of her models.

Awards and Exhibitions

Since returning to art in 2020, Karen has been awarded the President's Prize by the Institute of East Anglian Artists, the Professional Artist Award by the Visual Artists Association, and the Art Fluent Evolution Grant. She was a finalist in the Theo Paphitis Art Prize, the Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize, the Women United Art Prize, and shortlisted for the New Emergence Art Prize. Karen exhibited at The Other Art Fair London in 2023 and 2022 - in 2022, she was among the Fair Director's Picks. The same year, Karen participated in an Art on a Postcard auction.

Fashion and Fine Art Photographers Inez and Vinoodh recently invited Karen to join Double Dutch, an online charity gifting platform. On the cause-gifting site, her works feature alongside pieces from Cindy Sherman, Gary Hume, Es Devlin, and Lady Gaga.

Selected Works

Well, It's Like This

Paintings - 50x40 cm

Light in the Study

Paintings - 40x30 cm

Commission an artwork by Karen Turner

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