Karen Hackenberg’s Watershed paintings are inspired by the incongruity of the man-made detritus found washed up on the otherwise pristine shores near her Discovery Bay studio in Washington State. She takes a humorous yet subversive approach to the serious subject of ocean degradation, meticulously crafting beautiful images of conventionally ugly beach trash to create a provocative collision of form and idea.
In her painting Orca Pod, three shiny water bottles glow in the luscious light of a Pacific Northwest sunset along the tideline, serving as ironic stand-ins for the region’s endangered southern resident orca whales. Sporting cute cartoonish illustrations of whale to promote drinking water sales, these bottles belie the deadly effects of plastics on marine species and on the orcas themselves.
Orca Pod was created for the 2016 Northwest Art Now biennial exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum, highlighting the intersection of identity, social justice, and the environment.
Each limited edition archival pigment print is hand-signed and numbered.