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Serena Bocchino

New York, NY

"International Artist that transforms music into lyrical abstraction, intimate size to public art"
Serena Bocchino is an American contemporary artist. Bocchino’s studio practice investigates the intersection of abstraction and expressionism with a distinct focus on music, movement, and identity. Bocchino’s work has been exhibited internationally in many solo and group exhibitions. She has received many awards including, Pollock Krasner Foundation Award, PS1/MoMA Studio Residency, the Basil Alkazzi Award USA, and The New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowships in both Painting and Drawing. Most recently, NJ Transit and NJSCA commissioned Bocchino to create four public art installations at Newark Penn Station and is preparing for two upcoming solo museum exhibitions.
Wescover creator since 2020

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More About This Creator


How do your pieces come to life? Tell us one interesting thing about your creative process?

"My pieces come to life when I am ‘at one with the work” - which is an imperative part of my process in the studio.

Each piece, no matter how simple or complex goes through stages of creation. The idea is the beginning. Next, is a color, image, mark, or composition. Then, as the piece develops, the original idea takes form - not as initially planned - but as it should be. This process is not a formula or recipe - only the pure act of art-making.

The final piece is usually quite different from the original idea and that is the very special part of making “art” rather than craft or design. It is only that unexplainable part of creation that makes the work uniquely alive!

One interesting thing about my creative process is the element of surprising myself during the creative process.

For example, one of my series, the Mirror Series, came about in a very unexpected way. As I was pouring a beautiful colored paint on the canvas, I decided to allow less time for the paint to dry before pouring a new color. The end result was a composition of interwoven pours that I really enjoyed. This experience allowed me to learn more about the viscosity of enamel paint and how its drying time was different as it related to different colors. This timing was critical to how the different paint colors would lay on top of each other and blend or not blend during the painting process.

Another surprise was during the creation of the paintings for the Mirror Series, While I was working with organic shapes I decided that I wanted to emphasize the nature of each shape and I knew that a geometric element would be the solution. I realized that I had some circular mirrors in my studio for another project. I decided to insert a variety of mirrors directly into the paint surface at very strategic places to emphasize different parts of the composition. This juxtaposition of the mirrors with the enamel on canvas resulted in a composition of contrasting shapes; overall, this created very successful images in terms of color, line, and shape. Furthermore, the philosophical aspect of mirrors created a more in-depth meaning to each work created in this series, as it brings the audience (through their reflection) truly into the piece. I have continued to use this discovery and method in current work.

Finally, I can be in my studio working and always find something new or different in what I am working on at the moment. This continual experience of discovery and surprise in the studio is the perpetual element that propels my studio practice."
Serena BocchinoSerena Bocchino

What do you want people to do or feel when they encounter your creations?

"When seeing my work for the first time, I would want people to not only see it but also to hear it.

I want people to feel elated and engaged with each work that they take the time to look at. By utilizing multi-dimensional materials such as wires, mirrors, and collage elements to my work, I hope that those viewing the work will continually receive uplifting ideas and thoughts from the work itself. Since I have been making more sculptures (which I consider three-dimensional drawings in space), I have had the opportunity to see reactions as viewers are confronted with my work in a physical context as they interact with a piece in all three dimensions. Sometimes viewers respond with a smile, others provide a contemplative response as they take the time with each piece - whether that be a sculpture, painting, or drawing.

During my “iPOP” solo exhibition at Tria Gallery in Chelsea, NYC, I used the entire gallery space to create an environment of my work, allowing audiences to feel as though they are an integral part of the installation. This show was called “iPOP” because aesthetically, its basis was a color theory investigation. This environment included my paintings from the iPOP Series, as well as colorful cement/resin figurines of bunnies, squirrels, and birds that matched the paintings they were installed in front of. Furthermore, the entire floor was covered in Astroturf. When entering the space, one visitor of the gallery exclaimed, "I feel like I am in Heaven, when I step into this space - Seeing and experiencing this wonderful environmental installation!"
Serena BocchinoSerena Bocchino

What funny moments, unexpected surprises, or obstacles have you encountered?

"An unexpected surprise I encountered was being invited to China in 2017 to represent the United States in an international exhibition.

First, during this trip, I had to make a speech on behalf of all the artists that were taking part in the exhibition from the United States in English with a Chinese Interpreter. The first surprise was writing the speech the night before, ensuring that I was able to cover all of the information I hoped to convey as a visiting artist representing the USA. Additionally, during the speech, I graciously thanked the Chinese artists, curators, sponsors, and all those involved in this exhibition that helped bring to life our vision of the event.

The second unexpected moment was the interpreter of my speech. Originally, the interpreter was supposed to be a graduate student from a local university. However, at the last minute, a distinguished member of the museum, Wang Chunchen, the previous year’s curator of the Venice Biennale, became the interpreter of my speech. I was taken aback by this surprise. But, I was very honored to have someone of his prestige interpret my speech - especially due to his knowledge of the arts and related terminology.

The third unexpected moment, on this trip, was having the opportunity to create a site-specific installation at the Taoxichuan Art Museum in Jingdezhen, China. Although I had a plan of how to create the 19-foot x 9-foot sculpture, the surprise was experiencing the exact location of the installation. Additionally, I did not know how I was going to create something this large in such a short period of time - if materials would be available and even if the piece would fill the space in the way I intended. Thankfully, there were many helpers and available materials that I was able to use for the creation of the piece. All of these components produced a very successful installation and the intense creation in three days was a success."
Serena BocchinoSerena Bocchino

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