Texas Scene

  • Jon Serl, Texas Scene, 1975, oil on board, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Margaret Z. Robson Collection, Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson, 2016.38.68, © 2000, Randall Morris

Jon Serl was born in upstate New York into a large family of itinerant vaudeville performers. He spent his youth performing and traveling, often playing female roles. He settled in the California desert south of Los Angeles and began an engagement with painting that consumed him for over forty years. Serl’s surreal imagery recalls his theatrical upbringing, flexible notions of family, views on gender binaries and fluid identities, and his own experience of low-income struggle and marginalization. Semi-narrative paintings like Texas Scene show a diverse array of characters, presented in a palette that favors emotion and psychological states of mind over realism. As the artist himself once explained, You don’t see my paintings, you feel them.”
(We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection, 2022)
Texas Scene
34 38 × 48 in. (87.3 × 121.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Margaret Z. Robson Collection, Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson

Mediums Description
oil on board
  • Landscape – Texas
  • Occupation – domestic – laundry
  • Figure group
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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