Serena Cole's 'Through a Glass, Darkly' features unsettling transformations, portraits
By Sheila Regan
"It's a deeply unnerving set of work. Cole has a talent for blending an uncanny realism with a simmering anger that forces you to interact with the work".
By Nikki Grattan and Klea McKenna
"In being so tightly tethered to the aesthetics of the fashion world, Serenas work runs the risk of coming off as analogous instead of questioning. Serena is aware of this risk in creating art within a framework already heavily loaded with well-established associations, value, and perimeters, she knows the trick is to get the viewer to recognize that there is actually a lot at stake amidst the glitz and glamour".
By Alaisk Murasaki
"El trabajo de Serena Cole bien podría traducirse como un puente crítico entre moda, publicidad y arte. Mostrando un dominio magistral del retrato tradicional, la artista californiana de 32 años convierte la acuarela, los lápices de colores y el gouache en elementos imprescindibles para dar vida a una obra que pretende develar las carencias, deseos e inseguridades de una sociedad que aspira a un ideal imposible. Como si se tratara de un altar contemporáneo, muchas de sus piezas llaman la atención por incorporar en su desarrollo la técnica de dorado y plateado con hoja o pan, asociadas a pinturas religiosas de antaño. Siempre estoicas, las vírgenes de Cole son el eje de su declaración como artista, un concepto donde las revistas de moda, las imágenes televisivas y la publicidad interfieren en la noción de belleza de las nuevas generaciones, presionadas por una élite que seda sus sentidos con estilos de vida que carecen de identidad; una problemática que abordamos en esta entrevista."
By KQED's Kristin Farr and Emanuel Hapsis
"The walls of Serena Cole's CCA studio are populated by faces from fashion magazines. The models' ferocious beauty is re-imagined with watercolor, and a certain murky darkness in their expressions and angular poses is revealed. We recently stopped by Cole's studio and got to chatting about the evolution of beauty, her historical inspirations, and her almost Pretty Women-esque high-end shopping spree."
By Jacqueline at Beautiful Decay:
"Serena Coles work bridges fashion and traditional portraiture. Showing a mastery of her medium, Serena transforms watercolor and gouache into pieces that feel effortless. Some of her earlier works incorporate gold leaf as well, which feel reminiscent of medieval altar paintings where the face and gesture are key. Her take on fashion portraiture is full of emotion, often unseen in the stoic nature of fashion photography. Being such a busy time with her graduation from CCA, she was sweet enough to answer a few questions about her work and life."
By Meighan O'Toole:
"A few months ago I met up with Serena Cole on the last night of CCA's MFA show to see the culmination Serena's work for the year. We also stopped byt her studio before she moved out. I've always been drawn to Serena's combination of fashion, style and her own personal twist within her paintings. There always seems to be a somewhat darker vibe below the surface of her work -- calling out the darker side of fashion. Along with images from the show and studio -- Serena and I chat about her take on fashion and her interpretation of it through her own work."
By Darcy Smith:
"Fashion loves art, no question. But the functional canvases of YSL, Marc Jacobs, or Alexander McQueen arent frequently seen as a painters muse. However, we like to think the line between art and fashion is a little blurry, so discovering California artist Serena Coles fashion-fantasy paintings was a bit of a revelation. A life-long worshipper of fashion, Cole questions our veneration of pop culture by melding images from fashion ads with traditionally saintly symbols (think halos and haunted eyes). Her goal is to create iconic faces that explore 'the strange double-edged sword of being wanted'."