Karen Mortillaro, master contemporary sculptor


"I’ve known since age four that I was an artist."
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Master sculptor Karen Mortillaro is collected not only for her figurative work but also for her illusions, conceived in the imagination and executed with a detailed distinction that collectors find astonishing. Her work is found in both public and private collections.

How light behaves—and misbehaves—has been Karen’s all-consuming passion throughout her career. For years she investigated how both natural and manmade light sources can be manipulated and can themselves manipulate how a viewer perceives a work of art. In 1988 her fascination with light and perception moved her to explore anamorphic art, in which light reflected by a mirror transforms distorted images into properly proportioned pictures..

Not content with merely continuing the traditional forms of anamorphic art, Karen has now lifted her images from the flat page and created 3D anamorphic sculptures. These pieces are created entirely by hand—no computers are used. It is arduous work, but she—and her collectors—find that the aesthetic rewards are well worth the effort.

Karen attended the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, where she earned her B.F.A. and M.F.A. She was named to the Dean’s List and received a full graduate school scholarship. She was the recipient of the Elsie de Wolfe Fellowship.

In 1995 Karen was selected from among ten eminent sculptors to create the Writer’s Guild of America Award statuette given annually to writers in film, television, and theater. She also designed the Julie Harris Award for the Actors Fund.

Karen is in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who of College and University Women, and Who’s Who in Computer Graphics. She holds a U.S. patent for her illusionary techniques.