Featured Artist Todd Serlin

Contemporary artist Todd Serlin’s mixed media paintings feature colorful and primitive figures. Learn more about his art by visiting his website.

 

“Crimefighter” Spray Paint, Graphite, Charcoal and Acrylic on Canvas, 60” x 48”

“Crimefighter” Spray Paint, Graphite, Charcoal and Acrylic on Canvas, 60” x 48”

 

I am a big fan of the “Hero’s Journey.”

 

“Fierce Head II” Pastel Crayon on Watercolor Paper, 24” x 18”

“Fierce Head II” Pastel Crayon on Watercolor Paper, 24” x 18”

 

My art celebrates the human condition with unexpected heroes and colorful primitive figures that present exaggerated features and flaws—mirroring the beauty and pain of our shared experience. For me, the monsters are the heroes.

 

“Refugee” Pastel Crayon on Watercolor Paper, 18” x 24”

“Refugee” Pastel Crayon on Watercolor Paper, 18” x 24”

 

I’m originally from New York City and am now based in southern California. As a kid, I drew monsters all the time. I was also heavily influenced by music and loved abstract art.

 

“Above The City” Acrylic on Canvas, 18” x 36”

“Above The City” Acrylic on Canvas, 18” x 36”

 

Art, however, was never encouraged in my family, so it essentially remained a secret I kept to myself while growing up.

 

“Sunrise Commuter” Pastel Crayon on Watercolor Paper, 24” x 18”

“Sunrise Commuter” Pastel Crayon on Watercolor Paper, 24” x 18”

 

When hip hop began exploding out of New York in the mid-eighties, it was my awakening. Hip hop imprinted an indelible mark on my evolution as a “secret” artist.

 

Untitled Head, Acrylic on Canvas, 18” x 24”

Untitled Head, Acrylic on Canvas, 18” x 24”

 

A litany of New York City graffiti artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, were tremendous influences on my artistic development.

 

Untitled Pastel Head, Pastel and Acrylic on Canvas, 18” x 24”

Untitled Pastel Head, Pastel and Acrylic on Canvas, 18” x 24”

 

While in college, I dove into another very different cultural experience that landed me on tour with the Grateful Dead. Designing t-shirts and collaborating with top tie-dye experts was my world for several years.

 

“Big Head” Spray Paint and Acrylic on Canvas, 48” x 48”

“Big Head” Spray Paint and Acrylic on Canvas, 48” x 48”

 

As my life evolved, I collected a few degrees, traversed a multitude of careers in finance, technology and filmmaking, and eventually returned to art as a full-time purpose.

 

“Blue Voices” (My PEOPLE Series, #13) Acrylic on Watercolor Paper, 18” x 24”

“Blue Voices” (My PEOPLE Series, #13) Acrylic on Watercolor Paper, 18” x 24”

 

As a self-taught artist, I am always trying to free myself to explore and experiment. I get a kick out of perceived mistakes that become happy accidents. That’s what I love about the medium of painting, whether using spray cans, pastel sticks, brushes, chalk, ink, charcoal or just my fingers and hands. I want the experience to be physical and visceral.

 

“Shamen” (My PEOPLE Series, #15) Acrylic on Watercolor Paper, 18” x 24”

“Shamen” (My PEOPLE Series, #15) Acrylic on Watercolor Paper, 18” x 24”

 

A distinct tension pervades my work. I see this as the confluence of environment, reflections of my past and present experience, music and the energy I feed on. All of this elicits a raw tendency that sometimes may seem awkward, childlike or uncontrolled—until the work is completed and it all makes sense to me.

 

“Group” (My PEOPLE Series, #21) Acrylic on Watercolor Paper, 24” x 18”

“Group” (My PEOPLE Series, #21) Acrylic on Watercolor Paper, 24” x 18”

 

My goal is to present work that inspires dialogue and encourages the audience to decipher and create their own narrative.

 

Artist Todd Serlin invites you to follow him on Instagram.

 

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YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. I love all your paintings but I adore Sunrise Commuter! It captures the emotions so perfectly and is hilarious!

  2. Hello Todd.
    I find your work rich and engaging. Thanks for sharing it on Artsy Shark!

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