Cerise Zelenetz was born in Vermont, studied in Paris, and graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2014 with a BFA in fashion design. Although Zelenetz works predominantly in watercolor and ink, she enjoys exploring new materials, and has produced work in a wide range of mediums from collage to video and sculpture. Her work has previously been featured in group and solo shows throughout New York and Paris, as well as a number of print and online publications.
Cerise has created a series of illustrations to be exclusively released on Howl Magazine NY! Below she talks to us about her nostalgic series, a bit of a departure from her otherwise punny, ironic work.
“Unsubstantiated Nostalgia: Things that feel close to you but you don’t know why”
Artist: Cerise Zelenetz
Born in: Vermont
Based in: New York City
Inspirations: Overlooked details of my daily surroundings have always been a primary source of inspiration for me. Everything from crumpled napkins and plastic dish-ware to the way people mutter to themselves on the subway is fair game. I love travel for this reason, as it provides a continual stream of new daily experiences both large and small. My work is influenced by everything I come in contact with, tangible or otherwise. To me, travel is the easiest way to gain inspiration without consciously seeking it.
How would you describe your style?
I work in a very stream-of-consciousness manner, and often offer the term ‘unsubstantiated nostalgia’ to describe my work, which I’ve created to encompass the feel of inventing powerful memory that has no grounding in actual experience. Things that feel close to you but you don’t know why. Sometimes the feeling is humorous, sometimes it’s sad. No matter what medium my work takes, I believe it all ties together through this common thread.
About the series:
The series, “Lost Parts,” is a comment on how we tend to dissect past relationships as they dissolve over time. We somehow begin to fixate on the physical characteristics and traits separately from the person they belong to. On its own, an eye or an ear is a visual memento of what we miss, the harmless artifacts without the negatives within the connection.
“I use text a great deal to form connections that may not otherwise be possible, as well as add another layer of contemplation.”
Themes in your work: Along with travel, main visual themes include food, drink, and figures. I’m always trying to create an imaginary experience that ties into the real world. I use text a great deal to form connections that may not otherwise be possible, as well as add another layer of contemplation. There is often an underlying thread of humor running through my work.
Any upcoming projects/exhibitions?
I have a number of simultaneous projects going on including a portrait series for a Paris-based restaurant and a fabric print for a New York-based fashion designer. I’m also leading a ‘drink & draw’ event with Urban Outfitters on June 8th which will take place at their Williamsburg store.•
“Lost Parts is a comment on how we tend to dissect past relationships as they dissolve over time.”
More work by Cerise