Tuesday, March 04, 2014

HEAD
Western Exhibitions, Chicago

http://www.westernexhibitions.com/current/2014/1_HEAD/index.html








The Seerveld Gallery presents:

Excess of Joy: an exhibition of new work by Edra Soto

Exhibition dates:            February 27 – March 26, 2014
Opening reception:        February 27, 6-8pm (artist talk at 6pm)



The work of Edra Soto strives to form a parallel between the basic materials that the artist uses and her Caribbean, African, Spanish and Anglo-American influences and heritage. Her work tends to draw upon childhood memories and her religious upbringing. Soto aims to create a space of reflection by bringing together a rich environment of images and shapes that were made in a simple and basic manner. 

Along these lines, Excess of Joy depicts portraits as masks, influenced by African and Caribbean imagery. Culturally omnipresent, masks possess the qualities of being protective archetypal devices for either a living organism or a myth. Soto amplifies her moral and emotional concerns by confectioning an image that is made with simple materials: gouache, graphite and paper, and influenced by the symmetrical architecture predominant in ecclesiastic art that the artist frequented during her formative years.

Excess of Joy brings together Soto’s latest drawings and a sound piece: respectively, dual comedy portraits, followed by the sound of Soto’s laughter coming from a record player. Produced in an edition of 250, the artist invites the audience to play the 7” record from a turntable while viewing the exhibition.

















Thursday, October 03, 2013

PINK / PUNK
Monsters and Dust
http://monstersanddust.com/issue4.html

























Friday, August 09, 2013

GRAFT II

4833 rph
The Center Program
Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago

The first iteration of Edra Soto’s Graft, a wood screen reminiscent of a wrought iron gate was installed at Terrain, a residential exhibition space in Oak Park. Much like the theatrical device of a scrim, Graft functioned as a wrought iron metal screen where it created a breathable barrier between these two exterior zones. 

Wrought iron, an easily malleable steel alloy is a common material that was utilized to make many early structures and bridges especially in 19th Century Chicago.  In terms of both structure and aesthetics, the patterns created at this time with this alloy were the result of an important dialogue between the dominant schools of the Beaux Art and the Polytechnique, which helped to mold the re-emergent city of Chicago.  Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright evolved these geometries within stained glass and screens, by abstracting nature and referencing the horizontality of the landscape. Wright also created screens within the interior space that were often made out of wood borne out of his deep devotion for Japanese design.

In Graft II, Edra Soto continues to reference this visual dialogue of interlocking geometries by infusing them with the flavor that only a rich storyteller can offer.  The patterns here are playful and infuse the interior space with her own unique personal style.  Born in Puerto Rico, Edra Soto’s patterns are imbedded with a steeped tradition of iron porch screen fences with layered levels of engagement. This screened-in space functions as both a protective element as well as a logical outgrowth of window screening.  This ambiguous dialogue becomes new curb appeal for Edra’s Graft (II), which is also evidence of the rich collective nature of Soto’s work as she actively stirs up dialogue within her community.  Architecture at its most ideal state is made for the public and works to break boundaries and unify communities. 

Jefferson Godard













Thursday, March 28, 2013

Graft


Iron screens became ubiquitous in the architecture of post-war Puerto Rico, due both to the security they provide and their ability to allow for ventilation. Spanish decorative elements add visual flair to these functional barriers.
Today, these iron fences are not only viewed as protection, but also as a piece of the island’s visual landscape. The ongoing project Graft alludes to the aesthetic and nostalgic qualities of these iron fences for expatriates by transplanting them, as wooden screens, to public locations in places outside Puerto Rico.
A subtle transformation occurs when removing the fences from their intended use and their specific local tradition. The patterns take on new valences in relation to contemporary art, while directing viewers to reconsider post-colonial visual culture.









Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Figure No.12

GAG Garden Apartment Gallery
Chicago
The Figures series are representations of shells using a single coil. As the initiator of basic forms for communal gatherings (like cups, vases and plates), the coil materializes my vision of the simplified sculpture, the iconic object and as a symbol, the Caribbean souvenir in a non-satirical disposition. The shells also possess the qualities of being protective devices for either a living organism or a myth.
For this particular setting I slightly altered the original structure of the staircase to create a shelving unit. Figure No. 12 is a 12 shell sculptures by 12 shelves structure.






Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Wedding Cake Project

New Capital, Chicago
I’ve been confectioning an idealistic representation of my wedding cake to alleviate distressing memories that the original cake brought to me during my wedding day. I bake this cake for public events and share it with friends and strangers. The effect of this action doesn't fail in conjuring some sour memories, but manages to impose itself as a celebratory centerpiece. In celebration of my 10th Wedding Anniversary, I presented an installation of 10 wedding cakes at New Capital’s 24 HRS / 25 DAYS. The wedding cakes were displayed for visitors to consume.








Figure No.7

Dock 6 Collective
with Navillus Woodworks

The Figures series are representations of shells using a single coil. As the initiator of basic forms for communal gatherings (like cups, vases and plates), the coil materializes my vision of the simplified sculpture, the iconic object and as a symbol, the Caribbean souvenir in a non-satirical disposition. The shells also possess the qualities of being protective devices for either a living organism or a myth.
I tend to draw upon childhood memories and my religious upbringing for inspiration, as they are strongly embedded in the humanity of my expression. This particular display was inspired by church votive stands.






Figure No. 3

Project 0012
A Skowhegan alumni initiative
The Journey's End Farm, Maine