Serena Potter, personal narrative painting of pain and illness
For the past several years I have been dealing with the effects of the human Parvo B19 virus. My current body of work is a personal narrative about my experiences with the chronic illness that has resulted. I paint figures and still lifes that address themes of private pain vs. public persona, struggle and submission, gravity, loss of identity, time, and sleep. I work in oil on panel or canvas.
In my work I make notable use of chiaroscuro. I was inspired at first by Baroque painters such as Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and Georges de la Tour. More recently, however, I have turned to the vivid cinematic lighting and compositional elements used in film noir. Dark shadows, tenebrous space, cropping and the use of diagonals, as well as the staging of unlikely situations, all impart an air of mystery and improbability to my pictorial approach. It is my intent that the viewer be able to view my paintings without an overt understanding of my personal narrative, but rather, through their sense of the drama, bring their own interpretations to, and derive their own stories from, my paintings.