New York City plays host to searing adversity and incomprehensible privilege. Its bustling streets mirror a microcosm that reflects a much larger landscape. As wealth is hoarded and poverty surges, we spiral into a more complex and vexing existence. This is the legacy of the digital revolution – an epoch that has systematically destroyed face-to-face human contact. As an über-connected universe spreads like wild fire and a “wired world” becomes de rigueur, real human interaction is replaced with a sense of digital belonging to environments that never really exist – worlds so fleeting they are forgotten as quickly as they emerge.
In Serdula’s work, we are riveted in a real and resonant world – one that cannot be abbreviated into digital form. Her portraits confront us with a reality that has hitherto been hidden. Lola explodes off the canvas to challenge our lethargy. She exists in a whirlwind of chaos that only she controls. We are invited to enter, but the threat of oblivion is too great. Rachel is more reticent. Her deep-set eyes wait for an event that will remove her from the edge of a precipice. Woman in Scarf looks ahead with a resolute gaze. She has endured much but she possesses resilience – a steadfast determination that compels us.
Serdula’s austerity of palette allows her to pull us into a complex and fractured narrative populated by a diversity of emotional beings.
—- Deborah Johnstone
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