Artist statement

This is a coming out. My work is about the most important thing there is. life. Living with yourself, the other, in a world.
The work is both poetic and critical. Just like you can look at the world.
The sculptures and paintings are about vulnerable beings and vulnerable worlds that are also strong and light.
In my work I mix different worlds, that of humans, nature and animals. I shape life through animals. I humanize animals. Preferably normal, brown animals that live in close proximity to humans. Strong animals with their own layered character. Proud-sad, shy-tough, cute- in defiance. Often alone, no longer in their own nature.
In the portraits I want to depict the small, which we all know. Moments of vulnerability, strength, loneliness.
Humans make choices that change the world. Nature and the world seem subordinate to human intervention. I humanize the animals so that the viewer can project aspects of their own life into them.
My images are anthropomorphic. The boundary between humans and animals is blurring. But also the boundary between death and life.
I entertain nature, use it as material, strip it of its natural character. Man makes nature for human use. I do the same with the animals I find. I make my sculptures as alienated from nature as we as humanity interact with nature. I am concerned about the disappearance of the habitat of animals.
The sculptures often look straight at you. They are cuddly. They appeal to the viewer.
I like to paint landscapes, light open landscapes with blue skies. Water, trees and lonely animals. The world that is there when you look, when you feel.
In the landscapes you can wonder who is in control, who is in charge.
The sculptures and paintings together represent a world of their own, an atmosphere of romanticism. The work is narrative, as if something had happened. With my work I evoke emotional and tactile experiences that first make you experience, then think.


“Karen van Dooren’s strangely mutated animals make one think of genetic experiments that are no longer science fiction today. Seriousness and humor are close together – as in Lem’s work. ” (note KvD: Stanislaw Lem)

Marcus Golling, Im Kopf eines Denkers und Visonärs, Südwest Presse, 3 juli 2021

“The Dutch artist Karen van Dooren created the sculpture“ Bambi says: “No.” from the preparation of a real newborn fallow deer fawn. – a work that immediately brings to mind the scientific possibility of creating hybrid beings and genetic engineering; a work that frightens because the created Fragile being, if it lived, would not be able to drink or eat from the ground. “

Dagmar Hub, Künstler aus Ulm und Neu-Ulm würdigen Stanislaw Lem, Neu-Ulmer Zeitung, July 21

Portrait by Bert Beelen

Karen van Dooren

  • Born in Deventer, The Netherlands
  • Lives and works in Nijmegen
  • KvK: 72935294


  • Taxidermy birds, Bos en fauna, Schaarsbergen
  • Taxidermy small mammals, Bos en fauna, Schaarsbergen
  • International Master of Arts Therapies, University of Freiburg, Germany & HAN university of applied sciences, The Netherlands (Masters degree)
  • Fine Arts, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Arnhem (HKA), the Netherlands (Bachelors degree)
  • Art Therapy, Hogeschool Nijmegen, the Netherlands (Bachelors degree)
  • Art Education, Tehatex, Hogeschool Gelderse Leergangen, Nijmegen (Propedeuse)
  • Ceramics & other courses, Highschool Newington, Connecticut, USA.


  • KC BREEKijzer
  • Kunstrijders

Awards and nominations

  • Exto Kunstwerk van de week: Bambi says:”No.”
  • Project Subsidie for project “Kamperfoeliestraat”, Province of Gelderland
  • Ceramics Award Newington Highschool