Monday, February 15, 2010

MYARTSPACE Art Scholarship Award Winner Sofia Ruzi

Second Place MYARTSPACE Art Graduate Division Scholarship Award Winner Sofia Ruzi

The Second Place MYARTSPACE Art Scholarship 2009, Graduate division award goes to Sofia Ruzi, Graduate student from Universidad De Costa Rica, Costa Rica. Sofia will receive a $2,000 cash award from

The young but prolific artist, Sofia Ruzi displays beautiful but disturbing paintings portraying an autobiographical body of artwork seen on called:

"Asuntos de familia" ( Family Matters )

This profound and satirical study of individual identity relates the feelings from childhood memories with current social values.

Questions & Answers:

Q: Can you describe how you felt entering the competition and your reaction to finding out that you had won second place in the MYARTSPACE ART SCHOLARSHIP?

Sofia Ruzi: For me the competition was a great opportunity, some times it can be very difficult to show my art out there, especially being a young artist and living in small country such as Costa Rica, so this contest opens a great opportunity. When I found out I won second place I felt shocked, extremely happy and very motivated to keep working on my art.

With an education in Chemical Engineering, Philosophy and Art -- appears to be an exceptional combination of development to use as a basis for expressing your ideas and feelings.

Q: Have you chosen to pursue your art full time?

A: I’m dedicated one hundred percent to my art and I try to bond all the things that I love, my background in philosophy is definitely a big influence in my art, the definitions of beauty and the symbolism and representation that I use came from that. I am always drawn to chemistry which it is a great complement in my printmaking and painting techniques.

Q: According to your biography your work is very personal and is about the formation of individual identity from familiar surroundings, with topics of interest related to psychoanalysis and memories of your past. Looking at the images of the children in your paintings, you often portray deep contextual situations that portrayed disturbing facial expressions. Sympathy, universal empathy and striking pain come through in your subjects eyes. Is there a sense of understanding you’d like the viewer to come away with?

A: Art is a lie that show us a true -- so I want to show a true. As an artist I see my art as a psychological space to show a duality; who I am for myself, and who I am for others.

In my case, my art came from my life experiences. It is inward-looking and it has autobiographical elements. I try to show them with transparency: however, some elements are hidden and can only be seen when the viewer notices what lies beyond the apparent normality of the characters.

The images suggest that families are not so pretty or perfect as they seem; just like life, but they are fundamental in the constitution of the individual identity. I like to show a gaze of the imperfect, the incomplete, to show the beauty behind it, and also play with the ideals and question stereotypes. Hopefully the viewer will deepen the mystery rather than solve it.

Q: You have a wonderful combination of intricate, articulate fine work, combined with luscious, broad paint strokes that appear quick and gestural. Do you see your work straddling these expressive techniques or getting more abstract or realistic?

A: I am inspired by contradictions and duality. I try to maintain a balance between those sensations, the quick, gestural and chaotic with the calm or tranquility. This should show a contradiction between feelings and emotions and how life and people can be like that, calm and messy and confusing at the same time; however, right now, I am in a road in where I think is going to be more sculptural and more gestural every time.

Q: The painting: “MADRE AUSENTE (ABSENT MOTHER) is particularly moving, I’m mesmerized by this young girl and another part of self in the background. Color, use of space and technique draws me to her eyes. Can you share with us more about this painting?

A: This painting "Madre Ausente" (Absent Mother) is about a personal memory I had of my mother. It represent how l felt, because she was absent at some point of my childhood when she was sick and she couldn't remember me as her daughter, so I wanted to show that feeling of loneliness, and how I was searching for my identity at that time, who I was for my self and who I was for others. We define ourselves through others and the first others that we meet is our family so what happens if your family does not recognize you, who are you then? Since identity begins with the physical sensation of the limits of our own body in terms of its location in space, so as an artist, I‘m always sanity and insanity, one has no face it is absent and the other is angry and sad at the same time they can be different people or it can be the same.

Q: You mentioned a couple of master artists: Hugo Sanchez and Rafael Cauduro, psychology legends such as Freud and Lacan, that have been influential with your development, what about other influences?

A: I am inspired greatly by, Goya, Bacon, Edvard Munch, Ensor, and the list goes on, but I get influences also from the culture of my country and also everything that is old or has a history, inspired me.

Q: In your opinion, how is the Internet changing the landscape of the art world, obviously artists today have more opportunities than they had before the advent of the world wide web. What are your thoughts on this?

A: Living in Costa Rica we don't have access to the big museums, or big galleries, so the Internet has expanded our artistic landscape in a huge way. You can have access to artist all over the world like with you have access to exhibits, contest and online galleries. For an artist like me it is a very important tool. Any art form, be it visual, performance or written, will benefit from the use of the Internet. The Internet can provide all artists with further resources blending technological advancements with art, and also creating new marketing and production opportunities.

Q: What are your future thoughts as far as your art is concerned?

A: I am working on a new body of work which is more sculptural and gestural, and I will keep working on my painting every day. I will try to show my art. Right now I am in graduate school to further my education so I will see what happens after that.

Q: Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your art?

A: I would just like to thank you for the wonderful competition. I am extremely happy and very motivated to keep working.

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