Serena Maisto

About me

As a young artist, Serena Maisto’s career began with her encounter with the work of Jackson Pollock, one of the key exponents of American Abstract Expressionism. She was asked to produce a piece for a physiotherapy clinic waiting room, which was therefore destined to be seen by a number of people.
Serena’s passion for Pollock continued for many years. She naturally wanted to express her art using the master’s technique, while equally naturally she wanted and needed to express her emotions and feelings on canvas. From the very start, Serena’s works were characterised by flows of colour that almost inundated the canvas, and by action in its own right. However, as time went by, Serena’s work began moving in its own direction compared to Pollock’s work.

Serena concentrated on Plexiglas as a support for her art. She began experimenting with the transparency of this material, with areas of colour and lines that created only seemingly random shapes, and with the background provided by the wall on which the work was hung or mounted. This development was also fostered by the interaction between the artist and the space for which the work was destined. Serena therefore had the opportunity to create works for specific spaces, to be inserted in an existing context, enriching it and, ultimately, transforming it and making it unique. Serena’s brushstrokes became more precise, almost as if printed. The graphic style and marks reveal a uniqueness that make Serena’s work easily recognisable. The versatile nature of the artist’s works mean that they can also be used as inspiration for everyday objects (such as coffee cups), or household décor (Wallpepper wallpaper).

Serena’s creative ability and her expertise in using other materials (steel, aluminium, glass, wood), techniques (painting, engraving, linocuts) and technological media (video installations) enable her to distance herself from her illustrious predecessor. This led to the development of her light sculptures: objects of a rare representational intensity and beauty.

This was also the year she conceived and created luminous bodies made from iron, with geometric forms, which convey a sense of maternity, the phases of gestation and the growth of the artist herself, whose mark can be found at the base of the sculpture.

The composition of each individual stem represents the phases of the vision of the Ego, which has to be introspective, observational and, lastly, oriented towards the outside. Each individual stem contains a light, representing inner illumination. The stems are raised up from the base, so as to allow the light to spread in the directions of life.

This challenge has opened up new paths and new objectives for Serena, breaking away from the close relationship between the client and the places for which the works were intended. She now wants to explore the relationship between events, people and places of the past and the emotions that they generate in the present. Serena’s most recent collection represented a turning point in her career. Attimi proposes dialogues on a number of different levels. First and foremost, photography, where the artist captures an instant, freezing people and things, just as she herself perceived them. The subjects evoke themes of art within art. Serena does not restrict herself to mere photography. She interprets it, modifies it and retouches it. Black and white photographs cannot be placed in time, becoming abstracted from a specific moment. To this we can add painting, where the artist intervenes with her characteristic brushstrokes and precise runs of paint. Photography is therefore brought to life and materialises, becoming extremely tactile. This results in a more complex expressive language, moving away from the abstract style and providing a glimpse of research into interactions between reality and its shapes, and the painting technique adopted.

During 2017, Serena focused on the interaction between photography and painting. The project "Time Line: my walk with Basquiat" was born from the encounter with the work of Edo Bertoglio, renowned photographer who portrayed Basquiat in the 1980s, and was exhibited for the first time in May at Cortesi Gallery Lugano.

The cycle of works dedicated to Basquiat was also hosted by Cortesi Gallery in London, at the end of 2017, which celebrated the first appearance of Maisto in the London art scene.


Currently the artist is engaged in the research and implementation of new works based on the search for the shape.

Serena lives and works in Lugano.

CV