Karl opens the door wide on a larger art market
For three decades Karl Sternath travelled the world baking delicious pastry creations in top hotels.
Six years ago he decided to try his hand at a different creative medium — art on canvas.
He's now gearing up for an exhibit in Chelsea, New York.
He will exhibit three of his favourite works at Agora Gallery's Interpretive Realms exhibition that opens Friday and runs until May 8.
The opportunity to work with the gallery came up about nine months ago.
“At the time I was doing quite well with my work in Bermuda because there are lots of local clientele, both individuals and businesses, but I thought my art would also fit nicely with markets outside the Island,” he said.
“I started researching about galleries overseas, particularly the ones closest to here and where I could see my art showing and the places that made the most sense were Miami, New York and London.
“I came across Agora Gallery, located in the dynamic art district of Chelsea. I liked what I saw and I got in touch with them.”
He said they “hit it off” quite well and agreed to represent him and help promote his business, Stemsi Art.
His art will be featured on the gallery's website as part of that agreement and Mr Sternath was also selected to appear in a biannual online magazine, ARTisSpectrum.
Mr Sternath became fascinated with art at a very young age and was able to tap into his creative side as a pastry chef in his native Austria.
He created award-winning wedding cakes and show pieces. At the same time he started experimenting with charcoal, pencil and black ink on paper, later progressing to mediums like acrylic and plaster in his spare time.
The hobby took a serious turn six years ago when he debuted his high quality epoxy works at a Bermuda Society of Arts show.
“That's when I really started to see the excitement in people and realised they liked it,” he said. “From there on my interest just grew and I tried different methods and made it into a business.”
He said he is often inspired by the colours around him — the awesome blues and greens of Bermuda's waters, flora and fauna. This led him to expand his repertoire to include a combination of high quality resin and pigments.
Each piece can take anywhere between two to four days to create, but the end result is out of his control because of the medium he uses.
“Working with epoxy is a very unique experience mainly because I have control of approximately 80 percent of the final product while the epoxy takes over the other 20 percent.
“This, to say the least, becomes very demanding and occupies my creative mind 24/7, compelling me to find new ways to challenge my medium,” he said.
“The process is not easy to control and timing is a critical element. The outcome, however, is well worth the effort and seeing the magic and originality of each piece finding its true form gives me great joy.
“The ultimate reward is to finally hang my new creation on the wall under the appropriate lighting — that is when the true intensity of each piece reaches its full potential.”
He said the exhibition in New York was a new way for him to get his work out to a larger audience.
In Bermuda, modern and contemporary art work is catching on, but for the most part it's still a traditional market.
Mr Sternath said: “I am ready for a larger market and hope my art is well received. Hopefully the pieces sell and will be in beautiful homes, hotels and businesses in the States.
“But overall I want my work to become get recognised internationally. Since linking up with Agora, I already have got invitations to other galleries to exhibit in Nice [France], Bologna [Italy] and London [England].”
Mr Sternath plans to hold a solo exhibit of his work at BSoA in November.
Useful website: www.stemsiart.com.
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