Paper Dolls by Lisa K. Salerno

Paper Dolls

Lisa K. Salerno

The “Paper Dolls” series unfolded quite by accident, or perhaps it was by luck? I discovered a dissonant joy and longing in the repeating nameless-faceless forms of the vaguely female shapes I cut while playing with my daughter. While my initial intent was to entertain my little girl with these fun and innocent cutouts, I found myself imagining a story and character for each strand of figures. The repetitive patterns that unfolded reminded me of the ways in which our society so often ascribes stereotypes for each woman; ones that we impose upon ourselves, and ones that are imposed upon us.


As the ambiguity of each doll shape faded away when paper, paint, canvas, and pen combined, the narratives of each painting emerged, so too did their titles. Each painting is named in a manner reflective of the way in which it investigates the contradictions and complexity of the female experience, sometimes playfully, sometimes flippantly, and sometimes defiantly…


The intricate layers of color in each piece are as unique as the layers that make up each individual.  The overlapping and/or transparency of the paper doll shapes symbolize interconnectedness and visually express that through our connections with others is how we become ourselves.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lisa K. Salerno is a New England painter, artisan and art writer associated with Lyrical Abstraction, feminism and equality, as well as projects that promote awareness and empowerment of those on the autism spectrum.

Her series, ‘Paper Dolls’ was conceived while sitting at a table and cutting out strands of paper dolls to entertain her daughter. Something clicked, and she found herself imagining a story for each nameless, faceless form and became completely obsessed with the repetitive patterns that unfolded. This small moment lead to a whole series of work that investigates the complexities of the feminine experience, but in a playful way.

Lisa holds a BFA from The Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, where she studied under NY painter Pat Lipsky. Since then, Salerno selected for residency at the
renowned Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, actively participated in many arts related auctions and events, and has exhibited internationally. Her works have been acquired and commissioned for inclusion in various private, corporate, and public collections.

Salerno is also a syndicated art writer with the London-based publication Niji Magazine and also an active blogger on her website, where she writes about her own adventures in art, features and promotes the work of other artists, and encourages others to do the same. Her art and writing has also been featured in the Autism Speaks website, the Artful Vagabond, and in several other online and print publications.

Lisa currently resides in New England with her husband and two children, who continue to inspire and exhaust her everyday.

To learn more about the work of Lisa Koschwitz Salerno go to: