I only paint with carbon black acrylic on primed canvas to convey immediate emotional impact in my large and small portraits and abstracts. Dramatic portrayal of depth of character rather than a decorative approach is what I'm after. None of these canvases come from photos, or live models. They are the result of spontaneous inspiration. Film noir has always appealed to me and perhaps influenced this color choice. I want to capture that same sense of intrigue with a glimpse, a gesture that says it all. My experience as a professional model with pose and movement has sharpened my aesthetic eye. Pastels and drawings from 1993-2012 are also presented in this first solo exhibit.
New York City plays host to searing adversity and incomprehensible privilege. Its bustling streets mirror a microcosm that reflects a much larger landscape. As wealth is hoarded and poverty surges, we spiral into a more complex and vexing existence. This is the legacy of the digital revolution – an epoch that has systematically destroyed face-to-face human contact. As an über-connected universe spreads like wild fire and a “wired world” becomes de rigueur, real human interaction is replaced with a sense of digital belonging to environments that never really exist – worlds so fleeting they are forgotten as quickly as they emerge.
In Serdula’s work, we are riveted in a real and resonant world – one that cannot be abbreviated into digital form. Her portraits confront us with a reality that has hitherto been hidden. Lola explodes off the canvas to challenge our lethargy. She exists in a whirlwind of chaos that only she controls. We are invited to enter, but the threat of oblivion is too great. Rachel is more reticent. Her deep-set eyes wait for an event that will remove her from the edge of a precipice. Woman in Scarf looks ahead with a resolute gaze. She has endured much but she possesses resilience – a steadfast determination that compels us.
Serdula’s austerity of palette allows her to pull us into a complex and fractured narrative populated by a diversity of emotional beings.
---- Deborah Johnstone