Serge Serum for Tartarus Online.

Serge Serum is a self-taught Los Angeles based artist who does not scare easily when it comes to the complexities of the human psyche. Growing up in rough neighborhoods with high gang violence allowed him to take interest in graffiti which later transitioned into fine art. Using reality as a springboard, he “makes a scene” of the ordinary by distorting peoples’ likenesses in both his painted portraiture and outrageous photographs. His work has a curiously chaotic and yet grounded feel to it. Often employing the use of heavy brushstrokes net to delicate details; powerful warm colors next to soft neutrals. Serge endows a feeling of ease in existing within what seems to be a messy actuality. The bold style facilitates a sort of fill-in-the-blanks dialogue with viewers that is captivating.

1. How do you briefly describe your artistic work to the casual inquirer?

Ferocious, distorted portraiture made easy.

2. What is your primary medium(s), and medium(s) for the work being highlighted?

I use oils and some spray paint and charcoal.

3. As an artist, what do you value or enjoy most about your creative process?

The process is what matters most. I value that more than the outcome of a painting. I never know exactly how a painting will look when it’s done, so the process is where I am trying to figure things out. Most paintings I do have multiple layers and have been painted over several times. A lot of trial and error happens in each piece.

4. What does art mean to you?

I am not sure… I am still trying to figure that one out.

5. Where do you find your inspiration to create?

I don’t really look for inspiration or need any of it to work. I create because it genuinely makes me happy and it has become such a routine for me for years. But I do get inspired by negativity, stress and hurt feelings because it can be good material for a new painting but mostly because I know all that will go away once I start painting. It is my way of turning something negative to a positive.

6. What do you hope your audience gains from your art?

Some sort of connection. A feeling. I want people to not just see my work but become aware of it and waken their sense and mind.

7. How do you set yourself apart from other artists?

I think you are able to get a lot of my emotions and what went into my work once you see it in person. You can kind of follow it and see all the frustration, movement and expressions that went into it. There is a lot of richness and unique different texture in my work that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

8. What artist are you inspired by?

Dr. Dre – his music is so distinct and real. It is inspiring to see someone make such an impact in a creative industry coming from a place of high gang violence and low income. Growing up around the same part of town, this gives me hope as I know the difficulties of being raise in these violent neighborhoods and how easy it is to fall into criminal activities.

9. What compelled you to pursue partnership with SeeMe?

I saw there was a lot of opportunity for me to excel as an artist.

10. What do you value most about your partnership with SeeMe?

Their constant support of me as an artist and a lot of great communication between me and the staff here. That’s all you can really ask for.