With Utopia Now, Karms queries the reasons behind society’s rules, questioning who created them and why. In doing so, the artist ponders whether there is an ideal world that lives beneath the restrictions and turmoil of our everyday lives.
Karms employs a cast of cartoon-like characters to inhabit the strange and unfamiliar environments of his canvases.
Karms uses these techniques to convey atmosphere, communicating moods of uncertainty and disquiet through classically inspired chiaroscuro. He always begins by sketching, a process that is purely intuitive, allowing these characters to arise from a place in his subconscious. After this process, he analyses his composition, connecting his characters to specific locations.
These cartoonish figures, recognisable from their enlarged eyes and manic smiles, dwell in uncanny environments. Sometimes they appear in expanses of nature or they sit in vaguely domestic settings. Often, they are chained down in some way, perhaps indicative of the limits of society’s rules and regulations.