“I have always loved color, I believe in the power of color, I believe in the healing power of color, but I also believe in the healing power of matter of the material work,” artist Bosco Sodi recently told Brooke Jaffe for “ARTnews Live,” our ongoing IGTV series of interviews with a range of creatives, to talk about his predisposition for bold colors and textures, his use of organic materials, and more.
Sodi’s passion for art began when his mother signed him up for art therapy classes to treat his attention deficit and dyslexia. “I realized that I wanted to be an artist,” he explained, “and it was when I was creating art that I [felt] the most subtle, the most disconnected, the most in connection with myself.”
Rich and bold colors and textures are inherent to Sodi’s works, which the artist attributed in part to his Mexican heritage. “I think that I’m not afraid of color and I’m not afraid of texture, and doing things with the hands comes a lot from the Mexican history,” he said.
Recently, Sodi has taken up using raw and organic materials which came during his residence in Barcelona, after being particularly struck by an exhibition of Cubist painter Georges Braque. “I bought the catalogue of the exhibition and on the way back I was reading it and I saw that Braque, in order to give some texture to his works, he used sawdust,” Sodi said. Soon thereafter the artist began to experiment with sawdust and pigments rather timidly, until he purposefully dropped a bucket of sawdust with pigment and glue water on a canvas and left the work to dry on its own over the weekend.
“When I came back to the studio on Monday there was this chunk of material full of color but full of cracks and I fell in love with the effect that this accident caused,” he added.
Sodi’s treatment of organic materials in his works is unique, and he often uses a colossal amount of pigments and such to create the effect he desires. When asked why he doesn’t just put the materials on top of the canvas when the painting is completed he answers that it is not the same. “I believe that in our guts, or in our stomach, or in our heart, we can feel those things, as humans,” Sodi said.
This year, a series of Sodi’s new works have been exhibited at Kasmin gallery in New York in a show titled “Vers l’Espagne.” The artist often rejects titles for his works, stating that he doesn’t think a work of art “is alive until somebody makes it his own reading and searches for his own feelings with the painting. It’s almost like the title closes off the imagination.” More recently, he opened an exhibit at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn titled “Perfect Bodies.” The outdoor installation consists of large-scale clay spheres and cubes made in his studio in Oaxaca, Mexico, from local clay.