ALL THE USELESS BEAUTY
CURATED BY GABE SCOTT
SOLO EXHIBIT | FEBRUARY 1 - 22, 2019
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1st 7-10pm
This February, Stephanie Chefas Projects is delighted to present All This Useless Beauty, a solo exhibition from Northern California based painter Serena Cole and curated by arts writer Gabe Scott. Throughout the artist's career, the physical body has served as the framework for which to look inward, outward and through the feminine psyche. Her watercolor and pencil renderings are composed of found images and anonymous individuals, which take on new roles and identities as assigned by Cole.
The images of these nameless individuals have been harvested for appropriation based on an emotional connection to the content. In working from pre-existing images, an individual in a photograph is no longer confined to existing in the original context presented. Revelations of her own subconscious are projected and manipulated on anonymous individuals, juxtaposing emotions and intuitions on to a new model that once only existed in a perfunctory realm.
These women are presented in a new and fictional dimension, which serves as a mirror to Cole’s observations on gender politics and feminine emotions, as they relate to our current culture and political sphere. Freed from the traditional frozen frame in which they exist solely as objects of desire, their physical makeup is reconstituted to express personal discomfort with their said roles.
All This Useless Beauty makes reference to Elvis Costello, the revision of common tropes within various periods of art history, and the origin of each of her reproductions. These faces are handpicked from the pages of contemporary fashion and each model has been reformed with an identity and emotions that bear the complexities of being a woman in today’s world. It is also in line with Cole’s self-described style as ‘’delicately controlled, sumptuously obsessive and devoted to manneristic beauty”.
The opening reception for All This Useless Beauty will be held at Stephanie Chefas Projects on Friday, February 1st from 7-10pm. Stephanie Chefas Projects is located in Portland, Oregon at 305 SE 3rd Avenue on the second floor of the Urban Row building. The exhibition will be on view through February 22nd, 2019 and is free and open to the public.
ABOUT SERENA COLE
Serena Cole received both her BFA and MFA in Painting and Drawing from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. In addition to her painting career she is a seasoned teacher and has participated in a number of lectures and panel discussions. She is currently based in Grass Valley, CA but works through the Bay Area and Northern California. Her work has been exhibited in San Francisco, CA, Minneapolis, MN, Southhampton, NY, and throughout the U.S.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Gabe Scott received his BA in Photography and Art History from San Francisco State University. Since 2001, he has worked as a gallery director in San Francisco for ten years and has curated over one hundred exhibitions in SF,CA, Portland, OR, Denver, CO and Austin, TX. He is a contributing writer and editor for Juxtapoz Magazine, and his work has also been featured in Alarm Press, Beautiful Decay, Art Ltd, Visual Art Source and the San Francisco Arts Quarterly, among others. He is currently based in Portland, OR.