Karmen Kraft

Interview with Karmen Kraft

Date of birth: September 20, 1976

Place of birth: Asturias, Spain

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Gijón, a coastal city in the north of Spain, where the sea meets the mountains. It has the advantage of being a not-too-big city that allows you to walk everywhere. Despite its cool and rainy climate for most of the year, the people are friendly, direct, hospitable, and joyful. You get to know your neighbours, socialise in the streets and bars, enjoy Cider, and take a stroll around the block to restock the pantry.

But above all, Gijón is a city that smells of the sea, sometimes rough and other times calm, giving it character. Every morning, I looked at the sea from my window, hypnotised by its sound and the dance of the waves, while dreaming of the life I wanted.
I also lived in León and Salamanca, where I studied Fine Arts, and I finished my degree in Bilbao, specialising in conservation and restoration.

Where do you live now?

I have been living in Friedrichshain, Berlin for several years now.

For those who don’t know you, could you provide a brief introduction to your artistic career?

When I arrived in Berlin, I was seeking a fresh start. I needed a change and time to think about how to focus on what I loved most with complete freedom, without constraints or limits. That’s how I began to draw with whatever was at hand. I had many new emotions to express, which I translated into vibrant, intense, and lively colours in my first exhibition “Blickgrenzen” in 2014. From there, I started exploring my most intimate spaces, seeking hidden strengths to bring forth my most authentic emotions onto the canvas without filters, impulsively and in torrents. I aimed to reflect what words couldn’t explain, using colour and lines that give that special “touch” to my expressions.

Looking back over your career, what have been the highs and lows?

I believe all points have been highs, as each experience, even when not at 100%, contributes to learning and growth. The high points include all the people I’ve worked with, who have allowed me to dive into the depths of my being, feel stronger, and be surrounded by the warmth and love of Berlin’s people, making me feel at home. This is especially important when living far from home and loved ones. Therefore, I consider all the projects I’ve immersed myself in so far, and those yet to come, to be high points.

Where are you now in terms of your work and your goals?

Apart from painting in my studio, I seek time to experiment at the BBK and various workshops, continuously enriching my resources and boosting creativity. I’m also part of a
group of 8 artists who share a gallery, supporting young artists taking their first steps in

How has living in Berlin shaped your work?

Berlin, for me, is synonymous with creative freedom, full of opportunities, where artists are valued, and all forms of artistic expression are welcome. This is essential for an artist like me to explore new disciplines and enrich my creative process. In Berlin, there are no taboos, and even if there were, it wouldn’t matter because it’s an open, multicultural city without aesthetic or social prejudices. It has a broad capacity to embrace its artists, allowing them to be, develop, grow, and express whatever brings them joy. Over the years, Berlin has become a city that I have come to embrace.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently, I’m deeply engaged in preparing a new series of paintings, diving into childhood memories. Particularly, those moments that significantly influenced me as a child, shaping my personality while searching for freedom and authenticity.

In your opinion, how do you feel your work has developed over the years?

At the beginning, my work dealt with hidden feelings that weren’t expressed due to shyness or fear of judgment by a society that tends to reject what’s different or not understood.
Painting served as therapy to redefine my most authentic self and evolve my femininity healthily. It allowed me to convey the forbidden, to expose all the emotions kept under lock and key out of fear of being hurt, and to unleash all the women who also reside within me. Over time, I delved a bit deeper into childhood, awakening and expressing what is felt, healing its wounds.
Regarding colours, my work has also evolved, leaving behind the darkness and shadows of
my beginnings, making way for the brighter and more luminous colours of my current