Sofía González in conversation with Victoria Rios
1. For you, what is space in painting?
When I am drafting and sketching I like to play with the idea of that fiction that is to create a three dimension on a bi-dimensional plane, which in the end is painting's premise. I take it to drawing and I use the vanishing lines, repeating patterns that create new structures... Sometimes I take it too far and I represent in a very rough manner elements that we arrange in a more rigorous way in our minds.
In the painting, what is represented is as important as what is not, and in that sense I always leave enough space for the image to breathe, I am not afraid of keeping it simple as I understand that introducing more elements might not contribute anything.
2. What is painting?
Painting is a matter with color that you can apply to a surface. From there, it can be whatever you want it to be. It is true that within our understanding of Visual Arts it is a very concrete discipline with a very defined idiosyncrasy. And when you choose this over other disciplines it is not a trivial decision, but I like to think there are infinite ways of painting and I tend to disagree with people who have certain closed conceptions of what painting should and shouldn't be.
3. Objects, typography, close dimensiones, parallels, patterns, repetition... in your work we find all of these, they seem to be from a computational system, closed to the digital but entirely analogical and plastic.
Honestly this is the first time that someone compares my work with the digital, I had never thought of it. I am a person with a somewhat distant relationship with the digital world, I have never played video games and I do basic stuff on my computer like retouching pictures and sending emails. When I first started painting I did started from photographs that I found on the web, I did Photoshop collages and I painted with my computer next to me. I stopped doing that a while ago, I make sketches on paper with images from my mind and I paint directly on them. I really do not need any digital media for the process and that makes me feel very free.
4. If art has always been a mirror of our times, what reading can you make of the creation processes around you?
If you ask me about what I observe all around me, I'd tell you that with the possibility of seeing on the internet (or instagram to be precise) what people all around the world are doing, I can feel vertigo just seeing that there is so many people doing things and doing them well, but I suppose that is something good. In the context of Spain I think we are lucky to have marvellous artists and that creates a contagious effect. I have always been drawn to contemporary creation, whether it be Visual Arts, Literature or Movies, I suppose because it deals with problematics I can identify with. I tend to like those demonstrations which are more evocative than explicit, I generally don't feel attracted towards pieces that pretend to talk about or resolve a very specific issue.
5. Being a painter involves a lot of alone time in the studio. A lot of time in solitude with your own mind, your feelings, your objectives and obsessions... tell us some of them :)
I tend to enjoy solitude a lot, in that sense it poses no problem for me. Actually, every week there is an inauguration or event in here that allows me to socialise a bit more that I'd like to, so that counterbalances my solitary life. In the studio there is always something to do, it becomes a small environment in which is always nice to be. Generally, when I am making things that do not require much concentration (priming, cutting cloth, setting up stretchers...) which is a good portion of time, I play on my phone a conference or podcast or some music.
6. Admiration, predilection, inspiration... from the everyday, that childhood book, from admiration to inspiration from another creator's work there is a step. What do you admire, what makes you beat, what inspires you?
For me, inspiration can sprout from anything, not necessarily from something that is reminiscent of my work. I've always enjoyed reading, almost always novels, and indirectly that is a strong support of my creative process, I think it helps me to think, to keep my mind active.
I think it is vital to be constantly in contact with other forms of creation and not to be enclosed in oneself, because you lose perspective of your own work.
I admire the ambition and constant work of the people that have decided to devote to an artistic discipline, which is something necessary for this profession. Each day I realise how many things one has to give up to devote to this, there are too many and on top of that the the economic and emotional instability that an artistic profession entails. And there is no way of knowing if one day all of it will be worth it, so yes, the people that push forward in spite of all of it have my admiration.