Karen Bystedt has published four photography books including Not Just Another Pretty Face (NAL,1983), The New Breed (HOLT, 1989), Before They Were Famous (GPG, 1994) and They Dared To Dream (OSLO PROD, 1998). She has photographed film stars and rock and roll icons such as Slash, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Drew Barrymore Eddie Van Halen, and Jon Bon Jovi. Her work is exhibited in museums across the globe including The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, and The Armenian Museum of Modern Art., and her images have appeared in dozens of publications including Italian Vogue, Vanity Fair, Connoisseur Magazine,The Peninsula Magazine, Fabrik Magazine, InStyle and People. Her work has exhibited and sold at Art Basel at Scope, Red Dot, Art Houston, LA Art Fair, Art Hamptons, and at Port Authority in NYC.
Bystedt is firmly committed to supporting charitable organizations; her work has benefitted amFAR, Amber Lounge benefitting the Special Olympics, and the Venice Family Art Walk. She champions accessibility and brings much of her work to the street—open to unrestricted, unlimited view. Collaboration is a key element of Bystedt’s current artistic approach; over the last four years, she has produced several murals in partnership with streets arts including Cryptik, Nick Flatt, Bisco Smith, Drew Merritt, Ralph Ziman and Moncho 1929 in Los Angeles, as well as Lee Washington and Chris Flore in Houston. In 2017, she produced her own mural Kings and Queens in Harlem, and a collaborative mural with Bradley Theodore in SOHO.
In 2018, she wheat-pasted her photographic series, Inclusion, on the streets of downtown LA; she is currently developing an exhibition of the photography collection. Her latest show in April 2018 at The Bruce Lurie Gallery in LA, critically examines contemporary intimacy and romantic, digital communication in the modern era, and features her photography, and neon art, silk screened on Lucite. Bystedt continues to expand her mixed media approach, fusing photography and street art in her work as an individual, whilst forging and supporting artistic communities across the world, discovering and providing platforms for emerging talent, celebrating innovation, eclecticism, and above all—the expression of the self.
Before They Were Famous
Graduate of the American University in Paris for photography and literature and a film major at New York University, Bystedt has refined her natural talent with classical artistic training that has developed her keen sense of true talent and an eye for capturing the spirit of her subjects. Having photographed many stars before they were famous such as Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Bullock, Jared Leto, Drew Barrymore and more. Bystedt now has four published books including NOT JUST ANOTHER PRETTY FACE (1983), THE NEW BREED (1988), BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS (1992), and THEY DARED TO DREAM (2009).
Andy Goes Street
Karen Bystedt is recognized as a visionary at the forfront of the Mixed Media movement having first collaborated in a live installation with Peter Tunney at Art Basel in December 2011.
In November of 2013, Bystedt’s Andy Warhol portraits, were projected on the giant Videotron, above the Key Club on the Sunset Strip, in Los Angeles. The enormous screen featured eight of her iconic, colorful, Warhol portraits that rotated for twenty hours a day. That giant projections of Warhol, on the street, inspired the artist to choose some of Los Angeles’ favorite pop-surrealism, emerging street artists to paint over her photographic images, in a series of highly electrifying murals. With, Andy goes Street; Bystedt brings the “Lost Warhols” to new scale with collaborations that are creating murals, stencils and wheat paste guerilla like- art all over Los Angles with an eye for expanding her purview and taking the streets of the world.
Bystedt states, I love creating art but most of all I love creating street art that can be viewed by any and everyone on the streets, I find it exciting and inspiring, it's what my passion is derived from."
The Lost Warhols Box Set
Incased in this exclusive hand made linen embossed box The Lost Warhols contain all 10 of Karen Bystedt’s photographic prints all of which are signed, numbered and printed on archival art paper. Included in the box is a 24 x 24 contract sheet of these ten iconic Warhol Portraits, five in color and five in black and white.
The boxed set of 24 x 24 inch prints is limited to an edition of ten boxed sets. Included in the box are vellum interleaves between each print with quotes from Andy Warhol from Karen Bystedts' interview written out in an elegant script.
A forty by forty inch print went to Prince Albert of Monacos' private collection and another sold to Tomasso Buti, a wealthy jewelry designer and manufacturer who owns the original Andy Warhol Factory building in downtown Manhattan.
Many of these Warhol photographs offer a rare look at the pop artmeister. The best intimately connect us to the man who usually hid behind a faux, highly effected and vacuous persona. To see Andy, father of contemporary pop, making eye contact with Bystedt’s camera, humanizes him and makes him an object of affection and desirability.