Sofia Echa
Medium: Painting

Studio Location:
Reis Studios - Studio# 411
43-01 22nd Street



Artist Bio:
Sofia Echa was born in 1992 in Vladivostok, Russia and settled in New York City in 2013 to continue her pursuit of a career in art after she received a bachelor degree in Economics and Japanese studies at Federal University of Vladivostok, Russia. She graduated from the National Academy School in New York. Before that, Sofia studied fine arts in Art School in Vladivostok and in Cambridge School Of Visual & Performing Arts, Cambridge, UK.
Her works are in private collections in the United States and Russia. She is honored to have donated work to the 2015 National Academy Gala auction honoring National Academician, Eric Fischl, with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and to the Bailey House Auction in 2016 and 2017. In September 2015, she had her first solo show in the Center of Contemporary Art Sol' in Vladivostok, Russia, and in 2017 ??? the first solo show in New York (Sonia Gechtoff gallery, National Academy Museum and School).

Artist Statement:
I paint with acrylic on canvas and metal. Painting on big canvases and metal sheets of various sizes, I try to create an illusion of reflection. Working on metal sheets, I see my reflection in the unpainted areas through the abstract cloud-like strokes I make, and that helps me dive into my own thoughts and memories. The cool grey color I favor in both my works on metal and canvas provides an achromatic background allowing me to begin my paintings in an oasis of calm and neutrality. Also, my interest is not only what is on the front, but is also what is on the back: I attach stretchers on my works on metal so they have a shadow on the wall, and that adds sculptural qualities to my work.

The glossy varnish I use as the last step in my creative process is meaningful to me. I am fascinated by the density of gloss I put on top of my paint, which reminds me of lacquerware of a Japanese Rinpa school. The memories about Japan bring me back to my young years when I studied Japanese economics and language at the University, and about my father, who had been working in Japan. He would always bring me beautiful things from there, which mesmerized me and inspired me to paint when I was a little girl. I admire the delicacy and subtlety of Japanese artistic tradition, and applying glossy varnish on top of my works is my way to cherish my memories and express my admiration for Japanese culture.

I paint with palette knives and other metal objects, and I love to play with the idea of metal being 'heavy' and 'light' at the same time. The idea of a hard edge on a hard surface or big bold canvases is 'masculine', but the way I apply paint is subtle, my strokes are soft, and this method to me is about sensuality and femininity but also about being strong. In this way, I challenge myself to use 'strong' materials but create a sensual impact by working in a delicate and subtle way.

All images and text copyright Sofia Echa