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5 Things We Learned... Shelter Serra



Shelter Serra has an uncanny ability to show the humor, irony, grit, and gold in his artwork, which explores contemporary culture’s love/hate relationship to consumption, brand status, and object idolization. He works across many forms, including sculpture, drawing, print, and video. Some of his most well-known works include the Homemade Hermes Birkin Bag, a life-size blue rubber Hummer, and his addictively collectible Fake Roleys. While his art is arguably a tongue and cheek commentary on consumerism, it’s not necessarily cynical or negative in interpretation. Instead, Shelter cleverly welcomes you into the world of fashion and luxury so that you feel included in the joke but also appreciate the aura of brand influence. His art conveys thoughtful themes with a playful and nostalgic feel. And the fashion industry welcomes it: Shelter often collaborates with high profile brands such as Chanel, Helmut Lang, and Converse to produce signature art for their stores.

Shelter holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MFA in Painting & Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at prestigious galleries including Marlborough Gallery, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, and Renwick Gallery (New York). He currently works and lives between New York and Los Angeles.

Here are 5 Things We Learned about Shelter.

What made you...you?

Being born in Northern California, traveling extensively as a child and skateboarding has influenced the person I am today. 

When are you happiest?

I am happiest after a long day in the studio working, or exploring a new and unfamiliar place. 

Would you rather have a muse or be a muse?

The idea of being a muse has never really appealed to me. However, our visual world is such a multifaceted chameleon of a muse…that never ceases to inspire me. 

Who do you admire?

Cady Noland and Anthony Bordain 

What is important?

It is important to live life to the fullest and focus on the positive. Make work that challenges the status quo and ask questions about the environments we are surrounded by and live within.

Follow Shelter on Instagram @shelterserra


Images from left to right: Shelter Serra by by James Stone; "Metropolis" 2018 53x60 inches oil on canvas courtesy of The National Exemplar Gallery; "Easy Rider" 2017 48x36 inches oil on canvas; “Disney Castle (The Matrix)” 2018 41x34 inches archival ink and paint on canvas; “Mario Mario” 2018 52x48 inches oil on canvas; "Big Star" 2018 72x60 inches polymer paint on canvas