Personal Narratives of Strangers: Art by Serena Stevens


A painting of two young girls in front of a stylized beeStung by Fun, acrylic and oil on canvas

 

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.

 

A black and white mixed media work with photographic figuresAnd How Does That Make You Feel, collage and acrylic

 

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.

 

A screen capture of Serena Stevens' art websiteThe front page of Serena's portfolio website

 

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. 

 

A collage by Serena StevensUntitled, collage

Written by: Dallas Jeffs

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