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Idealized Innocence: Art by Serena Stevens

A painting with imagery of toys and childhood objects with a portrait of the artist as a childSelf Portrait as a Child

Serena Stevens is a painter based in Iowa. In her artistic practice, Serena blends the idealized innocence of childhood with darker themes of paranoia and frustration. The artist’s paintings often take on a collages aesthetic, bringing together numerous seemingly disparate images and subjects.

A painting of children skipping rope on an abstracted backgroundJump Rope


I’m quite enjoying the works in Serena’s gallery of recent paintings. In these, the artist sticks to her collage style and employs a variety of easily relatable motifs to help give the viewer a jumping-off point into each. In many cases, though, removing these motifs from their context also lends a sense of further mystery, inviting the viewer to spend a bit more time observing, applying new contextual meaning to an object or symbol.

The front page of Serena Steven's art portfolio


I like the way that Serena’s distinctive style carries over from her paintings into her collage works. The artist’s collages range from relatively simple and impactful images -- a single item strategically placed over an otherwise intact photo, for example -- to hallucinatory, surrealist landscapes packed with figures and visuals.

A collage of a woman from an advertisement with industrial equipmentJust Part of the Job

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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