“It was a non-objective approach that naturally led me into the field of abstract painting. In the year 2005 I became a painter—strictly committed to a non-objective approach.”   

Vincent Serbin

Coming from the world of experimental auteur photography, visual artist Vincent Serbin decided in 2005 to take up painting, transforming the rhythms of creation of the art object in order to lead it to another field of representation that requires a different time for reflection, execution, and completion of the final product: the unique, non-reproducible work.

Vincent Serbin 

Shark Toon, 2022 

Oil and enamel on canvas and wood with attached aluminum sections.  

42” X 41”

Serbin decided to paint in an accelerated contemporariness in which “new artistic productions do not set themselves to banish and replace existing ones, but rather to join them, making a place for themselves within the notoriously overcrowded artistic panorama.”1 This is the context in which the artist inserts his work and in which, individually, the act of painting prevails for him. 

The artist finds himself in a space of representation where everything is jumbled, juxtaposed, without hierarchies, where the old is re-updated through continuous appropriation, where the pure becomes impure, and where everything must “(…) prove its right to survival by resorting to the same strategy since they are subject to the same laws that rule all cultural creation, designed (…) for maximum impact and immediate obsolescence.”2

Vincent Serbin 

Orange Toon, 2022 

Oil and enamel on canvas and wood with attached aluminum sections. 

41” X 34” 

It is out of survival that Serbin’s decision and predilection for painting are expressed. His painting is an ambiguous and de-hierarchized painting, in which American-style painting, abstract, without narrative references, and with an apparent self-awareness, hybridizes with a definition coming from the world of collective consumption of the immediate and obsolescent image: the toon.

Vincent Serbin 

Tiger Toon, 2023 

Oil and acrylic on canvas over a wood panel with attached aluminum pieces 

47” X 39” 

The toon is the denominative unifying thread of Serbin’s recent painting and has occupied his reflections in recent years, in which each toon created by the artist configures a survival system with two dissimilar spheres of meaning: on the one hand, it is painting recognized in its purity, in its flat surface, in the properties of the pigment, and in the means proper to the pictorial act such as the brushstroke or the drip, characteristic of the work of the New York School; and on the other hand, there is the toon which, like a comic strip or a joke, manifests itself in the superposition of its flat and simple surface on the tangled pictorial system that supports it. 

Vincent Serbin 

Elemental Toon, 2023 

Acrylic, oil and enamel on wood panel with attached aluminum pieces 

22” X 24”

Serbin’s decision to paint in this way positions the toons in the realm of ambiguity, driven by the bifurcation of meanings that play with impurity and purity since each toon is a complex system of signification in its apparent simplicity, which seems to evidence to us—as heralded by the theorist Clement Greenberg—the “(…) dissolution of painting into pure texture, pure sensation, into the accumulation of similar units of sensation (…) perhaps corresponding to the feeling that all hierarchical distinctions have been exhausted, that no area or order of experience is intrinsically or relatively superior to another.”3 

Serbin decided to paint out of survival, out of dissolution, with no order superimposing itself on another, in order to create his own particular and individual system of de-hierarchized pictorial signs and hence his contemporariness

1 Zigmunt Bauman: La posmodernidad y sus descontentos, Madrid, Akal/Cuestiones de Antagonismos, p. 127.

2 Idem, p. 127 

3 Clement Greenberg: “The Crisis of the Easel Picture”, The Collected Essays and Criticism4, p. 224