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Serena Cole's Dark Portraits

Illustration // Friday, 28 Sep 2012
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Serena Cole was born to Californian suburban parents who lost their love for each other as soon as the pool was built on the honeymoon home. Afterward, her mother married a man because he looked like Tom Selleck, who lived on the top of mountain. Forced to leave the roller-skatable sidewalks of San Jose, at age nine she found herself living off-the-grid in the Sierra Nevadas and spent the rest of her childhood looking for the mall.

This extreme isolation from culture and civilization created a fetishized association with anything perceived of as high art, fashion, or wealth. She can still recall every page of the only Vogue she was ever given as a child. This incurable affliction followed her into adulthood and her art career, where she studied painting at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

She works from an irrational, unyielding desire to enter the unattainable through her highly detailed paintings and drawings. Positioned as both hopeless outsider and wary researcher, she creates work from her examinations of fashion advertising as a cultural anthropologist and self-reflective consumer of highly seductive imagery.

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