Karen Jerzyk (previously featured) is a a self-taught, internationally published photographer and artist from the Greater Boston area. “After graduating with a BA in English from the University of New Hampshire in 2003, my parents gifted me with my first digital camera to photograph bands,” she explained. “I photographed thousands of bands, concentrating on both live and promotional photos,” Karen says. In 2009 Jerzyk started shooting portraits of people, and ultimately decided to concentrate her focus on photographing models.
The story behind my “Color Series” ironically does not come from a particularly vibrant place. That is, it was born from the typical bullying and cruelty that only the internet has to offer. Back in 2014, I had gotten arrested for trespassing- an “activity” I would often partake in due to the nature of most of my photography (most of my photos are set in a “decayed” scene). Somehow, the story made both national and international news. I was scared and stressed out, because I was clearly being made an example of. Because the photo community in my area is severely catty and unprofessional, I instantly became the victim of bullying and harassment. I was horrified to see people I didn’t know and had never met/spoken to leaving horrendous comments on all sorts of forums. “She needed to be knocked down a couple pegs”, “she’s such a bitch”, “she deserves to go to jail forever”, “her photos suck”, and so on and so forth. The comment that deeply resonated with me was one that stated “maybe she will finally stop taking photos”. Luckily, I’m the kind of person who uses terrible life events and situations to light a fire under my ass. So people wanted me to stop taking photos, eh? They thought I’d stop? Naaaaah. I had a couple months to wait and lay low before my court date, but I wanted to show people that I don’t just stop doing something when things go bad (that’s ridiculous!).