It is not often that I think about the artist's personality when I enter a gallery, it's usually about the work. But in this case at the preview opening of the exhibition Serena Bocchino "Slow Fast", I had the pleasure of meeting the artist who, within seconds after introduction, insisted on a picture with me as if we had known each other for years. Bocchino’s personality is a whirlwind of energy and effusiveness; she thinks out loud. And so does her work.
Thoughtfully curated by director Andrea McKenna, the entire space is transformed, turning the spacious gallery into an animated world complemented with jazz playing in the background. From the elegant hanging wire sculptures that slowly and simply turn in response to the atmosphere to the gestural paintings that command the walls, the title of the exhibition becomes realized as the powerful paint strokes pair with the whimsical lines of Bocchino's quirky wire sculptures placed on pedestals throughout the room.
In the painting "Swoosh", there is a maelstrom of black strokes that looks as if it was painted in a fury. The soft white swirl of layered background contrasts with the black mass giving the piece it's initial punch. But as you look closer, the energy is tempered with a piece of canvas strip that harnesses the activity, creating a wonderful juxtaposition.
"Swoosh", Enamel paint with collage element, 48" x 68", 2018
What makes Ms. Bocchino's work pulse is not just the visual impact that it offers you initially; but the subtle and intelligent decisions she makes that at first are hardly noticeable. In the piece "Mind Float" your eyes are drawn to the net-like grid starkly placed on a solid blue background. As simple as this piece appears from the outset, upon closer inspection you discover two perfectly placed patches of color trapped on either side of the net. In addition, the blue background does not meet the edges, breaking up the square of the canvas offering us yet another visual detail that is simple yet so very important.
"Mind Float", Enamel paint on canvas, 28" x 34", 2006
Serena Bocchino's play with materials is joyful and intuitive. As you take in the room, you can see that this is an artist who loves her materials and honors them. With her line work she deftly takes you on a journey in and out of her created space; over and under color, pitting shiny surface with dull. Her work is a visual feast that races through us and then invites us to take pause. She understands what her materials can do and more importantly pushes them to speak. And they do speak with an unforgiving certainty, confidence and grace.
Art House Productions has presented a top notch exhibition by an international artist whose work fills the gallery beautifully and wholly. It should not be missed.
RECEPTION FOR THE ARTIST IS MARCH 9th- 5-7 PM. SHOW RUNS UNTIL APRIL 6th
Detail of "Moving Forward" " Becoming Green" Detail of "Slice"
ART HOUSE PRODUCTIONS GALLERY
262 17th St, Jersey City, NJ 07310
Gallery Hours: Saturday and Sunday 12-3pm and by appointment
For more info. contact Gallery Director, Andrea McKenna at email@example.com or call 201-484-9595