Images courtesy of Studio Bosco Sodi
Words by Katie Farley
The organic, geological nature of the works by the contemporary multimedia artist, Bosco Sodi are a unique sight to behold. Acknowledged for his innovative and inventive sculptures and paintings, Sodi encompasses environmental textures which arrive with physical cracks and chasms that additionally evoke primordial landscapes and intriguing components of the natural world.
His creations are based on fully embracing natural accidents that working with organic materials bring. This process reflects a truly original method that attains a non-repeatable outcome, otherwise known as the traditional Japanese philosophy, “wabi-sabi”. The understanding and anticipation of never knowing how the final result will materialize is all part of the Bosco Sodi’s unorthodoxy artful journey.
Born in 1970 in Mexico, he currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and exhibits his organically complexed artworks internationally, from Los Angeles and London to Basel and Finland. Choosing against labeling the majority of his creations without a title, the artist prefers to leave a somewhat ambiguous essence, allowing the spectator to individually interpret each one for themselves.
What originally drew you to creating the sculptures and paintings you construct?
I have been doing art since I was very young. When I was a kid I had a deficit of attention and I was hyperactive. After that, my mother signed me in art classes as a kind of therapy, so I grew up doing art, and it has always been very physical art done with my hands and a lot of contact with the materials. I love to have a close relationship with the materials and the process which is fundamental to my practice.
Why do you feel it is of importance to recall primordial landscapes and elements of the natural world within your art pieces?
All my work is based in the Wabi Sabi philosophy, which talks about the non-control, the accident, the process, and how the passing of time is what make things unique and non-repeatable. Also, the idea of how natural materials have a special energy and their reactions are unpredictable and relate directly to the heart. I try to show the spectator the extemporarily of life, and that feeling can only be achieved by using natural materials. Besides this, it is important for me to show how the process is much more important than the outcome, if you have a good process there will be a good outcome.
Are vibrant colors a signature aesthetic throughout your paintings and sculptures, and if so, why?
Color is very important for me but no fundamental in my work. I believe in the power of color and how it creates different reactions and lectures but is not my signature. Anyway, a lot of people know my work because of the use of bright colors and textures but that was a period of my practice.
What kind of environment are your works best suited in?
Any kind but they need to breathe in order to react to their context. But I like them also in an organic context, especially the sculptures, which I like when they get a patina of time.
Who would you compare your innovative multimedia artworks to?
I try not to compare, these are unique and original works in a way and very different to what most of the artists are doing. Currently, there are only a few artists working in this way with materials. I love minimalist art as well as land art, but also painters like Tapies, Kunellis, Kiefer.
You have exhibited your works in many different countries. Which one has meant the most to you and why?
All of them meant so much to me in a different way. Each place is different and the public reacts different to the works, but I got a very good reception and understanding of my work in Japan because of the connection and the culture which has different life philosophies.
Please discuss your latest work, Caryatides, and the forthcoming exhibition it will be featured in.
These are solid clay cubes, which form columns. These cubes are fabricated in my studio at Casa Wabi in Mexico. First, the clay is brought in a raw state and then it gets shaped by hand. After that, the cubes need to dry for two months under shadow and sunlight until I burn them in a rustic kiln in order that each cube has a completely different texture and color. The title of the show will be Caryatides, which refers to the ancient Greek columns in architecture that are currently in very bad shape. The opening will be happening on November 2nd at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York.
With regards to your art pieces, how would you like to continuously progress? What are your future goals?
I’m directing my work more and more to the sculptural elements and an interaction with a physical approach to it. Currently, I’m building a very ambitious project on the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico, which consists of 64 cubes with a size of two meters on each side. Each cube is made of clay timbers produced in my studio and it will be a huge pavilion but it will take time to finish.