Torino-based artist Sofia Fresia subtly uncovers vertices between the self and the world as we know it. Through skillful oil paintings, her works project guileless reflections that emanate from personal experience. Addressing individuals’ place within their environment, Sofia’s work suggests a conflicting sense of belonging to a deeply troubled planet. Sofia points at two junctures in her timeline that drew her closer to artistic creation. Impelled by an autonomous push, she reminisces on the fifteen year-old that innocently turned to drawing to combat boredom.
“I was sick for a long time and inside the hospital there was nothing to do. So I started to copy images from newspapers. That pushed me to begin taking painting classes once I left the hospital”.
Inevitable rhythms in her adult life muted her artistic pursuits for years. It wasn’t until she finalized her studies as a nurse that Sofia returned to painting, this time as a way to redirect her life. Unfulfilled by the nursing path she’d taken, she entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Torino. Invested in perfecting her technique, a budding epiphany began to sprout. When realizing the communion between skillful technique and the ability to construct sturdy statements with her paintings, Sofia began to think of herself as a potential artist. Today, after four years devoted to painting, she speaks with a clear-minded purpose.
Realizing a broader whole
Deeply moved by surrealist currents, Sofia is driven to speak through figurative paintings in ways that feel “difficult to verbalize”. Touching on how individuals struggle to find fulfillment in a frenetic and demanding society, Sofia alludes to common existential questions shared with the viewer. “It’s a good way to let people feel they are not alone in what they’re feeling”. In a persistent search to rediscover the twinings of her practice, she affirms that painting is an inner dialogue to better understand herself and connect with others. The solitary troubles she references in her paintings often collide with communal strains related to the urgent environmental crisis, an overarching problem that eclipses us all. Such convergence underlines the parallelisms between the self and the world, and contextualizes them in relation to a broader whole.
Embedded in her practice is a loyal depiction of the cosmos Sofia has come to inhabit. She exhumes meaning through a series of references that have become recurrent motifs in her work. Drawing on the facets of her life as a swimmer and a hiking guide, Sofia depicts detailed frames of natural landscapes – often inspired by Italian topography – where the element of water symbolizes a crossroads between her passions. She often relies on the visual references of pools to create meaning that sprouts outwards from her personal experience. Spellbound to paint nuanced and textured liquid bodies, she references other artists like Rudd Cameron and his “fascinating way to paint pools”. Whilst reflecting her interests, the prevailing contrast of man-made pools in pristine natural settings suggests varying reflections about human interaction with their surroundings.
Sofia oscillates towards oil-painting and big scale canvases for both nuanced and immersive experiences. Permeated in her process are traces of surrealist composition, which she admits “takes me weeks or months to decide on”. Once she lands on a centerpiece, she proceeds to “define the visual elements that will surround that central element” and extract more meaning from it. Like an orbiting system, Sofia assembles a frame induced by the direction and movement of water.
written by Julia Polo
Keep up on the latest from Sofia on her instagram.
Fri 4 Nov
Sat 17 Dec 7-10PM