Our newest addition to Artdose Magazine is See & Discover. This new feature provides you with a glimpse of what artists are doing inside their studios and how they are coping with this pandemic.
We are thrilled to kick off See & Discover with Milwaukee-based artist, Serena Weits.
Serena Weits creates meticulous paintings, collages and installations. Her subject matter reflects the body as a receptacle for knowledge, beliefs and the subconscious. She finds inspiration in urban environments, popular culture and contemporary art. The visual language Ms. Weits uses to convey more universal themes on humanity, beauty and positivity makes sense of the journey, and mysteries, of living during this time.
Inspired by her many collections, including driftwood, stones, rusted objects, game pieces and paper ephemera, Weits organizes objects into intricate installations or eye-tickling paintings. Her illustrative style, and color choices, rely heavily on nature, subconscious visions, and the human body.
Artdose Magazine: What unexpected sources of inspiration or places have motivated your work?
Serena Weits: The last few weeks of the Shelter-in-Place order, has turned my focus to the garden. The front is a completely landscaped hill down to the sidewalk, with no grass. I spent many hours clearing and cutting. The physical element, paired with the immediate gratification of seeing a difference, has grounded me. The weather has been cold, but I was warmed up by the work. I also dug out our 9 binders of 700 plus CD’s (in alphabetical/categorical order). This used to be my go-to art making music pre-iPhone. It has been like opening a time capsule!
AM: Are there other particular works you are thinking about more? Old bodies of work? Art from other artists?
SW: I have 14 unfinished paintings large and small that I lined around my studio all together. Some were started 12 years ago. Strangely, now that I look at them I feel their underlying meanings all have to do with loneliness, uncertain danger and COVID-19! I’m only half joking, but I’m finding resolve in some of these fractured compositions that have been stuck for years. I’m working on about 7 of them simultaneously.
My pandemic purchase is, “Hilma af Klint, Paintings for the Future”, a book of her first major solo exibition in the United States, October 2018- April 2019 at The Guggenheim. I regret not going to see it, but I’m absorbing this book from cover to cover.
AM: What are your top three possessions from your studio? Items you cannot live without.
SW: 1) my #0 brush, 2) a box of old rubber stamps with turn-of-the-century fonts, I use them to stamp random letters and numbers into my paintings, and 3) a tiny thrifted book called “Italian Moderns De Chirico, Carra, Morandi” copyright 1959 from The Pocket Library of Great Art, full of color illustrations.
AM: What are you go-to-art documentaries or movies?
SW: My go-to documentary is “Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time”
I LOVE the Art21 series which is free online or PBS. Recently, I watched “Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child”- the shots of his early art shows are stunning.
AM: What are you currently reading?
SW: “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi, it’s an intense memoir I have put off starting for many years. This is an incredible time to read it. While my life is distinctly different, there are parallels with the desire for life to be the way it was, and the feeling of anxiety.
Connect with Serena on IG at @serenamade.art
All images are courtesy of the artist.