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Serena Cole  Oakland, CA

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Serena

In today’s Western society, I see no real heroes or idols to emulate. Instead there is a decadent escapism from a darkening future with war, environmental deterioration, and chemical warfare on the horizon. We have replaced our idols with pop culture. Searching through fashion magazines and images on television, it appears that unattainable, inhuman images of beauty and elitism have come to sedate our senses. We are devoted to these images, which do not serve as distinguishable personalities, but as a revered brand of idealism that relieves our fears of mortality and destruction of apocalyptic proportions.

In my work, I use images of attractive figures from fashion magazines to illustrate the haunting themes beneath our worshiped fantasies. In many images, there is layer of beauty and seduction which leads the viewer to desire something. Upon deeper inspection, however, these models are often sickly, androgynous, or posed as if they have been beaten or are half dead. My work is inspired by the psychological implications of what fuels our desires and insecurities. I intend my images to be seductively beautiful, but also slightly uneasy to look at. I think of these drawings as icons of our ideals, and also of our inhuman aspirations.

For more on Serena’s work, check out this video interview with her.

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10 reactions displayed

"I saw you on kqed blog by chance? anyway- i am so incredibly impressed and inspired from what I see in your work! thank you- your talent and vision feel very beautiful to me- yay!~kimlynh"

"serenayou are bad ass!!!!love the concept, iam curious where you learned or studied art, i am an oakland native and had a great art teacher and love that a local artist has such great talent,"

"The technique is wonderful, the beauty is there (but this is obviously subjective), and the artist is extraordinarily talented, and a beautiful human being in her own right. Keep going! Check out her newest show, at 111 Minna in the City, through September 27th."

"I saw a recent Blog entry by Linda Shapiro about the way women are portrayed in fashion photography as eternally suffering. I thought you would find it interesting. I think the theme for your art is very powerful and I'd love to see you push this idea even further in your imagery. Beautiful technique by the way."

"i really love your work! a nice blend of nature and human control. very strange and interesting to look at. it's too back they showed it on a sunday, you'd get more people on other days."

"incredible work. I see alot of Klimt in it who in my opinion is the greatest artist ever."

"I love the thought behind your work. I would not have come up with the general thesis that you are working under just by observation of the paintings just a sense of unease. A wonderful balance of desire and destine."

"I Serena:Really like your work,and what youhave to say. I am a former fashion photographer, but still love to shootfashion and beauty when I can.Beauty is very seductive, and yes, it isnot realistic to have to live up to the expectations of subjective beauty based on our culture. Especially when mostof what we see is retouched. I like thatyou can do that, and also leave the viewer with an uneasy feeling. Looking beneath the surface.Best to you.Carol"

"Sweet and simple i wish there were more artists like this."

"This is effective art. Mesmerizing in the truest sense of the word. I can't look away. She achieves her mission statement - check out her other stuff. Even better..."

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