Maren Karlson's Illustrations Are Like Comics from Hell

The 'Cockroach Queen' descends upon the 99¢ Plus Gallery

by Nathaniel Ainley
Sep 11 2015, 5:00pm

Slo But Weak. Images and captions courtesy of the artist.

Berlin-based illustrator Maren Karlson is the Cockroach Queen, the name she's assigned to upcoming solo exhibition that opens today at the 99¢ Plus Gallery in New York. Karlson’s abstract illustrations combine still life and portrait drawing techniques, demonstrating a fresh and new perspective of the female nude, with clear influences from Matisse and Picasso, and a hint of traditional Japanese fine art. No illustration is the same. Karlson uses different framings, new colors, and contrasting textures to transport you to another outlandish locale in every image.

According to the exhibition’s Facebook page, Karlson’s interest include, “girls, jokes, ugliness, premium breakfast, and negative feelings.”

You can catch the show opening reception tonight starting at 7. Cockroach Queen will be running at the 99¢ Plus Gallery until the 27th of September. Check out some images from the show below:

A Moment That Is Mine


Torstrasse Postkarte


Lonely At The Bottom

Natural Beauty

Romance Is A Ticket 2 Paradise

Cockroach Vibe

Druck Foto

In Love With A Cockroach

In Touch

P.S: Got a question for the artist? Shoot her message on her Tumblr. She is pretty good about answering questions from curious fans. Here are two responses she recently posted:

Anonymous asked: Are you an underground comics artist or just a cartoonist who is trying to be an artist?

MK: why is the dog beach better than a normal beach? because you get brown faster ;)

Anonymous asked: what kinda art stuff u workin' on these days ??

MK: hi anon. i quit art to make something more relevant, i.e. becoming a full time roach / abdominal master and working on my outlaw look. thanks for the interest

For an extensive archive of her work click here.


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New York
99 cent
99¢ Plus Gallery
cockroach queen
maren karlson