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Karla Cohen Bio

Karla Cohen is a contemporary artist who is inspired by travel, culture, history, and other artists. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Karla began painting and drawing in grade school, with the support of a formative teacher, Virginia Carnes, at The Westminster Schools of Atlanta. Karla was first awarded recognition for her artwork at a state competition held at the Capitol when she was 10 years old. With Professor Carnes’ support through high school, Karla studied figure drawing in New York City in the summer of 1995 which changed her perspective and expanded her skill set, shifting the way she approached art. Around the same time, Karla began studying and reinterpreting the work of legacy artists like Picasso, Matisse, and Klimt as a way to develop her style in the years that followed. Her sister, Christina Angell of Bozeman, Montana inspired her first-ever larger-scale (36 x 48 inches) painting which hangs in their home today.


After studying French and International Relations at Emory University, Karla moved to Boston where she worked in the language travel industry for EF Education, a Swedish Company with over 70 offices in 40 different countries. There, she found a pathway for increased travel which she used as a core source of inspiration for her artwork. She often tried to capture the joy she experienced discovering new areas she visited in her sketches and drawings. 


In 2005, she began working in higher education for INSEAD, a global business school, and spent seven years living between Paris and Singapore before moving back to Boston in 2012. During her time overseas she had several exhibitions in Fontainebleau, France, and in Singapore at the Ascott, as well as a handful of exhibitions at INSEAD. She also exhibited work at Harvard University in 2014 and sold work to faculty at the business school, where a number of her large-scale paintings remain today. Since early 2017, Karla has focused on building her collection to create a broader, more cohesive body of work and develop a signature style that pulls heavily from the Fauvist movement. Since 2018, she has been part of numerous exhibitions at the Belmont Gallery of Art and Gallery Six Thirteen outside of Boston. She continues to travel and expand the boundaries of her style through the use of acrylic on canvas when painting, and charcoals, pencils, and ink when drawing. Additionally, her latest work has included mixed media, photography, and digital art overlays. Specifically, she combines digital images with layering techniques over her physical works for a blended effect. 


Across all mediums, she seeks to inspire and delight with innovative interpretations of landscapes, florals, still life, and even abstracted versions of these subjects. She concentrates on the bold use of color, textures, and compositions in an effort to elicit joy and a sense of wonder in viewers, patrons, and the audiences her work encounters.

Karla's work is most recently on display at the RW Norton Gallery as well as the Longview Museum of Fine Arts, both US-based gallery spaces through August 2023. 


Karla Cohen
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