Exclusive Interview: Sonia Ros

Directional Forces Interviews the Venice-based Painter














Sonia Ros, Kairos,  triptych, acrylic and oil on canvas, 2014

Sonia Ros Biography

Sonia Ros was born in Conegliano, the passion and curiosity for the Art were her first teachers. The dynamics of the body, the obsessions that can awaken became inevitable themes in her work. Oil painting, for Ros, is the only technique able to express this urgency.The need to deepen relations with the teachers and with other artists has been satisfied from Venice, and his Academy,“the landscape is privileged for her expression.

Ros’s works are characterized by the eternal conflict between subject and object, between perception and perceived on the one hand and the illusory abstraction-figuration dichotomy on the other. Biomorphic membranes with organic and floral shapes, minerals, mechanical prostheses, body parts make up the “creatures” fixed on the canvas in an instant of their perennial metamorphosis.

Ros has had exhibitions in a variety of prestigious venues including Ca Pesaro in Venice, Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, Pall Mall Gallery in London, and L’agostiniana in Rome. .

Describe your evolution as an artist. How did you discover the art world? What inspired you the most on your path to becoming a painter?

I started painting at the age of 24 after studies and works that had nothing to do with art, creativity or disciplines related to the languages of vision. Passion and curiosity were my first teachers (it may seem rhetorical or sentimental but it went just like that). The dynamics of the body, its complexity, the obsessions it can arouse have become my inescapable themes and oil painting the only way, the only technique able to express their urgency. It was only later that all this came together in the need for study, for the deepening of relations with the Masters and with the other artists: Venice and its Academy therefore represented for me an opportunity for all this and a privileged “landscape” for my expression.

In your triptych “Kairos” there seems to be a continuity of form that explores the human body and yet it also seems to be a bit biological in a more abstract sense. How do you compose your shapes? What role does drawing play in your paintings? Are your paintings planned in an advanced way or executed more intuitively?

My works are characterized by the eternal conflict between subject and object, between perception and perceived on the one hand and the illusory dichotomy abstraction-figuration on the other. Membranes biomorphic shapes and organic floral, mineral, mechanical prostheses, parts of our body are just some of the figures that make up my “creatures”, laid down on canvas, in a moment of their perpetual metamorphosis: new beings, clones, hybrids and genetic monsters: it’s almost moving into an impossible craving for the incarnation. Drawing is fundamental in the construction of the image, it is the framework of the work as well as the perimeter on which the pictorial masses lie, merge, take shape interacting with each other. My paintings are therefore born, in part, from Planned choices that manage to express themselves and appear only when they follow and meet the intuition, real killer of my work.

Has the pandemic influenced or inspired you or your work? How did you respond to this strange and dangerous period in which the world is now?

The difficult and tragic moment that all of us have been experiencing for more than a year, can make us seem slow, unsuccessful, suspended time. At first I suffered a sense of helplessness and fear, I felt paralyzed both mentally and physically. In fact, it is an opportunity for every person to lie on his back and “listen”. All this leads me to reflect on the nature of time, which in art is qualitative and not quantitative and to St. Augustine with his “distensio animi”, a relaxation of the soul. It’s a peering into the interior. So I, in” quarantine “for a long time, have metabolized these days sinking my” visions ” in the intimate where we are reunited with everything that is most dear and indispensable to us of which art must be necessary witness.









Sonia Ros pictured at the Museo Bilotti for one of her exhibitions. 





Sonia Ros, Il Richiamo della Foresta, acrylic and oil on canvas, 2012


Which artists were your biggest inspiration? What people, friends or educators have been instrumental in your training as an artist?

In particular, I love all the Renaissance, the Baroque, surrealism. Artists that I have in my heart: fra Angelico, Paolo Uccello, Raphael, Hieronymus Bosch, Hans Holbein, Giovanni Bellini, Caravaggio, Tiepolo, Vermeer,Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Degas, Renoir, De Pisis, Egon Schiele, and Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, alberto Burri, Tancredi Parmeggiani, Francis Bacon. The meetings that were decisive in my work and that marked this space and time of learning as nuclei of human and artistic sense were: Maurizio Martelli, Luca Bendini and Carlo Maschietto.

If you could own any painting what would it be?

Raffaello Sanzio: The Mute.

If you could create your own movement or” ISM ” what would it be called?

Redness. PS. There is no limit to protagonism Come

How would you describe the contemporary art scene in Venice? in Italy? What are the most rewarding aspects of living and working in Venice for you?

I Love Venice. I like all its Yes’s and all his No’s…. Twenty years ago when I chose to live and work in this city, I wondered: but Venice,  is it a passionate city? Does it have a fire in it?…. Where could Othello go mad with insane jealousy but in the homeland of domination and the market? Burning passions, which have nothing to share with psychology and feeling. But there is also the fire of the Great factory of the Arsenal and the thousand furnaces of Murano: lively passion of the sea and glass. I think of the “fire” of betrayed and fatal loves, the one that inevitably marries death and decay : Thomas Mann and Gabriele D’annunzio. I think of Venice’s palaces, churches, museums.. : art. Venice is a city where water surrounds it, sustains it, feeds it: an indissoluble union.

The water element is present in many of my works: paintings of water, underwater..a continuous metamorphosis where, unintentionally, there is a continuous reference to the Serenissima, to its magic and flattery that appear to my eyes as unknown Impossible Creatures: my work, photography of the invisible. It’s the appeal to an “other”world. These are my “fires“ “of Venice, the braziers that, perhaps unknowingly, direct my gestures in painting, my own life, despite the fact that now everything around me says the opposite : “barbaric invasions” of tourists, wave motion, large ships, high water, ecosystem at risk, garbage etc. For this reason, I still wonder: how many and what colors does the “flame” have inside me ? What forms can it take, what beings to represent before succumbing to the entropy that constantly threatens us? Contemporary Art in Venice is concentrated in the Biennale of painting or architecture, the Biennale dance and theater, The Film Festival. Everything else is always very slow and requires a particular effort that is often not repaid both as public and as economic revenue.

What are your plans for 2021 as an artist? What projects are you working on and planning?

I currently have an exhibition “Empty Eden” at the Casa Gaia Da Camino Museum in Portobuffolè (Tv), which following anti Covid provisions is closed from November 3, 2020 and is not yet open, but will be extended until April 5, 2021 or beyond. I hope that the project at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin that was planned in 2020, but skipped and postponed due to the pandemic, can take shape, as well as new collaborations with galleries such as Bugno Art Gallery and in other projects in Belgium.