These artworks fall into three categories: abstractions,
photographic-based works and video
art; sometimes these divisions meld or blur. The dominant
medium used for the first two is the archival pigment print. Regardless
of category, all are by design open to interpretation, each work
given the freedom to speak for itself.
of expression is the beginning and end of all art.”
rules and conventions, emulating other artist’s styles or
being associated with schools, groups, trends, or movements have
been eschewed in pursuit of originality. It is this liberating independence
from what is expected, hot, current, or saleable that affords Jim
Serbent true, total freedom of artistic expression.
On a tabula rasa the artist lays down intuitive mind’s eye
imagery and experimental treatments of photographic works. Video
art works vary from the purely abstract, e.g., Retinal
Circus and The Video Life
Form Series, to highly structured compositions with
original soundtracks such as Out of Dream
and Bent Cross.
art must of necessity remain in the state of experimental
research if it is to have any significance at all.”
and imagination provide the springboard for these compositions.
Using intuition and enthusiasm for the mind’s-eye image
— brief and fleeting — the basic idea processes through
a fusion of video, electronic transmogrification, photography,
and extensive hands-on digital brushwork. The result is a final
print that works visually and registers emotionally. Many works
were self-revealing in that they evolved into something quite
different than originally conceived — the work itself guiding
Serbent toward a surprising conclusion.
'What does that represent?' has no meaning.”
In an effort to leave interpretation wide open, all works in this
category are deliberately untitled.
The chief medium for the current series of abstractions is the archival
pigment print. Sizes vary with the largest being 44 x 60 inches.
Many are of a numbered, limited edition series; others are one-of-a-kind.
works are about impressions, relationships and remembrances. The
in-progress Koan Series is
composed of arrangements of original photographs, artwork and the
odd appropriated image. Some are formatted into an irregular grid
structure. These compositions can contain as few as two and as many
as a dozen or more component images. Serbent has always been intrigued
by Zen’s mystique and its promise of transcendence and certain
Zen ideas seem to resonate with his existential view of the universe.
The koan, as he understands
it, is like an insoluble puzzle. The idea is to throw one completely
off balance mentally, for an instant, and in that moment induce
a flash of enlightenment and transcendence. Serbent's approach is
to use the principle of the koan
as an influence by combining diverse images in balanced, intuitive,
visually compelling compositions.
are not here to do what has already been done.”
the Portraiture Gallery are
displayed some examples of video and digitally enhanced
portraits produced from the 1980s up to the present. People
often wear masks that change instantaneously depending upon
what and whom they face at any given moment. The Faces
and Masks series attempts to scratch the surface
of these myriad personae that dominate human interaction.
World Trade Center - A Photographic Study
is included solely as a memorial to the victims of the 9/11
attacks. If that devastating day had not occurred, these
now haunting images would most likely remain as unprinted
35 mm slides stored in the artist's archive. In
the 1980s Serbent was captivated by the twin towers of the
New York World Trade Center. These architectural behemoths
appeared massively imposing yet elegant — and impossibly
tall. He was drawn to photograph them repeatedly day and
night at different times of the year. Using various lenses
and transparency films including infrared, he attempted
to capture the surreal essence of these giants.
These are motion picture compositions that
range from pure abstractions, The Video
Lifeform Series, to ambient video works, Retinal
Circus, to art & music videos, Out
of Dream, Message from Space,
Aging Rockers, and Theme
from 'Le Sacrifice.' Some video works, originally
produced in the 1980s, are undergoing restoration, reediting,
and revision. In the following decade Serbent created Bent
Cross, a pure stream-of-consciousness video based
on the overwhelming power of religion on the human race. Out
of Dream has recently been fully restored,
re-edited and extensively enhanced as Out
of Dream V 2.0. New
video art works are in production.
nature of really serious art is that you don't know what
you're looking at. You're impressed by some quality or bothered
by some quality. You don't know it's why it's the way it
is or how it came to be that way.”