Serena Viola Corson
Serena Viola Corson is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in San Francisco, California. She was born in 1996 on a beach in North Carolina but moved all around the Southern United States growing up with her single mom due to financial instability and the 2009 recession.
Working within the esoteric art movement, I believe creating art is a form of manifestation. My goal is to manifest strong connections between working-class people and other species trying to survive under the many agonizing forms of modern living. My paintings do this by intentionally bringing images into being from nothing, like magic. A tradition as old as time. I nod to some of the earliest known artists in my paintings (creators of Newgrange carvings and the bison painted in Lascaux) by mimicking their symbolism.
Many of my paintings depict moments of collective joy, platonic love, and radical oddkin (a term coined by feminist theorist Donna Haraway). The figures I paint are always uncensored and are either self-references or inspired by my community. My focus on intimate friendship spans across mediums, from paintings that feel like a warm group hug to a yearly celebration I host called "Manifestations of Love," a pagan alternative to Valentine's Day. This event serves as performance art, ritual, manifestation and prefigurative politics.
My playful Matisse-like still lifes double as book recommendations and each one's title is usually a quote from one of the featured books. My interest in painting still lifes ramped up during the global pandemic when everyone was isolated at home surrounded by their accumulating personal possessions. Each painting intentionally curates pairings of books and belongings, evoking a narrative reflective of my personal experience, some I even consider to be self-portraits. While my art mainly deals with daunting issues, such as struggling against the entrapments of global patriarchal capitalism, I hope my work will always retain an uplifting sense of magic, immediacy, and wonder.