Paranormal Artist Profile: Kari Bergen
Featured artist Kari Bergen may have been the operator of an occult bookstore at a Renaissance faire for over a decade, but she has spent her whole life cultivating a collection of curious objects and ephemera.
"I've been fascinated with found objects, antiques, and old ephemera for as long as I can remember. For me they are a direct connection to the past each with a unique history," Kari tells us. "The stories I sense in the objects and ephemera themselves inspire my art, I just have to listen. I like bringing new life and meaning to items that would otherwise go unappreciated."
Kari's art is best described as a beautifully strange, darkly humorous, and eerily whimsical take on modern folk art that often portrays the paranormal.
"I get a lot of personal satisfaction and laughs out of enhancing the naturally creepy qualities of everyday objects," she says. "It could also be the duality of a subject which blurs the lines between light and dark, real or imagined, past and present, life and death."
This particular perspective must, at least in part, come as a result of her own paranormal experiences.
"I grew up in a haunted house where unexplainable things happened every day. It would be normal for doors to open or close on their own, objects to move, electronics to turn on or off, see shadows move and hear voices when no one was there. By 2003 I was actively investigating the paranormal in order to validate and understand my own experiences," explains Kari.
And she's been fascinated by ghosts ever since.
"There are such a wide variety of ghosts and ways a person can be haunted," she continues. "I'm passionate about history and where there is history, there are ghosts."
But Kari isn't about to be pigeonholed into only one interest when it comes to unexplained beings.
"I love them all!" she exclaims. "Aliens and demons are the scariest...but I have a soft spot for giant creatures and animal/human hybrids."
Don't we all?
Kari definitely keeps busy, and her talent is in high demand; which very fortunately makes her easy to find.
Kari and her art will be at the Denver Oddities and Curiosities Expo on October 6th; and she will be giving talks for the Denver chapter of Atlas Obscura on "Disaster Tourism" September 16th and "Victorian Spiritualism" October 13th.
"I've been making art for myself since I was small, but it has only been in the last 3 years that I have started making art for others," Kari shares with us in closing. "I can't imagine my life without making and sharing art. I used to let anxiety and fear stop me from so many things, but art has been a wonderful teacher and healer for me. It feels like what I am meant to be doing."