Karen Mosbacher
Artist Statement

Growing up surrounded by the sounds of classical and jazz music, my journey as an abstract expressionist painter has developed utilizing a condition, or gift I have had since birth, known as a synesthesia. Working with music of different genres, as well as poetry, story, and other auditory processes, I paint what I see to create paintings full of rhythm, color, line work, texture, balance, and movement. The two forms of synesthesia I have are called Projective, which is a voluntary form, and Associative, which is an involuntary form. Two types of synesthesia I have that are applied in my process are called Chromesthesia and Grapheme-Color Synesthesia.


My passion for Classical Music has been in my soul, ears, and eyes since birth. Jazz, too, with its beautiful self-expressive beats, wild rhythms, and emotional freedom. UpBeat Magazine proclaimed my Dad, Billy Mosbacher, as an “up and coming Jazz pianist” in the late 40’s. He played with all the great Jazz musicians of that period. As early as I can remember, my days were spent drawing and coloring under Billy’s piano while he practiced both classical and jazz music. The closer I am to an instrument, the more vibrant are the colors, textures, and shapes in the notes. Classical Music is a highly sophisticated form of instrumental and vocal styles. Jazz is the Graffiti of music, an intimate and abstract expression. As my Dad used to say, “It’s really cool.”


The “Ninth Street Women” of the abstract expressionist period, particularly Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell, speak permission to me to explore and paint what I see when I hear sound, predominately music. Sound continues to resonate in an infinite wave of movement, building layers of colors and textures that stay with us for longer than we listen. The paint on my canvases imagines the vibrations of sound waves with thick and graceful textured layers of strokes.  Since Classical Music, Contemporary Classical Music, and Jazz Music are a part of my DNA, it is vital for me to visually share the depth of music through expressionist painting.


Painting continues to be a unique source of imagination; mine exemplifies my interest in sensory explorations of composition, movement, shape, color, and texture. These painting interpretations of movement and colors in abstracted sound-to-sight sensory depictions of music and other auditory art, enable a much deeper understanding of collaborative process. I am intrigued by the unplanned structural formation of sound. It is my passionate desire to paint what I see, and to collaborate with musicians, artists, writers, and poets to inspire others to live more profoundly through the arts.