Personal Narratives of Strangers: Art by Serena Stevens
Serena Stevens is an artist based in Rhode Island. Serena uses paint, collage, and mixed media to explore the personal narratives of strangers. Serena’s artworks often seem to reference found photos, particularly of the type that might be discovered in long-forgotten family photo albums.
I really like the sense of story that imbues each of Serena’s works. Her paintings sometimes combine graphite and collaged elements, which add to the narrative with occasional bits of fragmented text. Her figures are often presented looking directly out of the picture plane at the viewer, creating a sense of connection between the viewer and the unknown individual in the painting.
In Serena’s collages and mixed media works, a sense of understated darkness or anxiety is sometimes present, below a veneer of advertisement-perfect polish. The overlap and contrast of the two creates a jarring sensation, forcing the viewer to look deeper into the image, as if searching for clues as to what might be hidden underneath the composition.