Inside the Artist Studio: Q&A with SOFIA BARAO

Our latest blog series is a nod to James Lipton.... Inside the Artist Studio. Here we'll be interviewing some of our YES artists and finding out what makes them tick. Our inaugural interview kicks off with the lovely French artist Sofia Barao. Sofia is featured in our upcoming show, PATTERNS/TEXTURES, which opens this Friday (see earlier post.) I didn't have the pleasure of flying to France for our interview (sad), so instead we emailed. Here's what Sofia had to say about her artmaking process and inspirations...

YES Gallery: What is your first memory around making art?

Sofia Barao: I remember doing art at home with my sister and giving all my neighbors tons of drawings. I don't think they were as happy as I was about receiving them all the time.

YG: Why collage? Where do you find your papers and photos?

SB: I don't know why collage, only that when I saw the artwork of (Kurt) Schwitters I loved it and decided to try it and to know more about it. A few years later I took classes with a painter and learned some more techniques. I've always been very attracted to the past. I can't think about the future without thinking about the past. Because of this I've been collecting old books, documents, photos, lace and clothes to make something with them one day and that day finally happened. I work with this treasures I find at flea markets. I love flea markets.

YG: Biggest influence(s)?

SB: I'm a big big fan of Christian Boltanski, Rauschenberg and Schwitters. I guess my biggest inspiration is Time that passes. The Time we can't hold on to and the traces he leaves behind.

YG: Why is art important to the world?

SB: Art is food for the soul, and I guess this phrase tells it all.

YG: Are you a full-time artist?

SB: I work at a museum when I'm not doing art. I work there part-time (afternoons) and I love to be able to have a daily contact with people and art and at the same time to have my mornings to do my work.

YG: What else do you do in your spare time?

SB: In my spare time I love to write, poetry, mostly. I also love to just do simple things like shopping (especially in Paris), going out with my husband or just to stay at home with a good cup of tea, reading.

YG: Tell me about the town you live in, Ile-de-France.

SB: It's a beautiful small town, outside Paris, between a forest and a river. Trees, flowers everywhere and a very old church from 1500. I love to live here as if I take the car or the train in 45 minutes I'll be looking at the Eiffel Tower in the middle of a big city like Paris.

YG: Have you been to America?

SB: No, but it's a dream of mine since I was 12, especially New England but I'll have to deal with my fear of flying for more than 2 hours first :)

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