Laura Karetzky
An oil painting of 5 candles burning on a menorah in the foreground, with a toaster in the background reflecting the faces of several people watching and taking pictures.

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Collection of the artist

With this large-scale painting, Laura Karetzky magnifies the role of technology in personal relationships. Her reflection appears in the metal toaster during a gathering to celebrate Hanukkah. Standing in a kitchen, near the yellow glow of the menorah, Karetzky can be seen trying to capture the instant while friends compose images of their own. Their gazes are, for the most part, focused on their phones.

As individuals rely more and more on screen-based technology to bring them together, Karetzky notes that she is interested in “the experience of being in the same room and yet not.” This tension between real-life encounters and the proliferation of photographic images is something Toast addresses, not only through subject matter but also through materials. Karetzky treats her canvas with drips and distortions, creating a work that is textural and tactile, one that evokes the original moment.