Presque Vu has influenced my art throughout my life. “Presque vu,” which means “almost seen” in English, is the feeling of being close to discovery but not quite there.
Despite leaving old homes and friends, new places and people often felt familiar to me. These sensations were electric, vivid, and ethereal, sometimes tinged with exhilaration or dread. My attempts to capture the moments vanished. I’ve experienced this many times in adulthood.
My feminine themes and vivid, psychedelic color schemes reflect theatrical influences. I work with acrylic paint, alcohol inks, flash glazes, precious metal leaf, graffiti paints, and pens. Lighting and viewpoint enhance these elements and methods. I also paint in series to process deeply personal issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and the reversal of Roe v. Wade, which stripped American women of their rights. I paint until I express my emotions during a series.
I like to think I always leave my viewers on the brink of an epiphany… Because paintings always reveal new details. similar to seeing a sunset’s green flash or a Bête Noir (black beast, Boogeyman) after waking up from a dream. I believe that most people have experienced something like déjà vu, and I find it fascinating and rewarding to capture that feeling on canvas.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Karen Fike is a Chicago based visual artist specializing in large format acrylic mixed-media on canvas. She holds a BFA from the University of Texas at Arlington and is also an accomplished scenic artist.
© Karen Fike