Catherine Soza’s work has primarily focused on the creation of identity and the female form. Archetypal images of women exist within contemporary North American media, culture, and various art forms. By adopting and changing to the aesthetic ideals of a time, women create new persona’s for themselves while still reinforcing mainstream ideas of femininity. “Deny”, “Break”, and “Reckoning” are part of a series of work that uses the artist as both model and photographer as a way for the artist to construct her identity. By drawing on various images of women from fashion, graphic novels, Gothic sub-culture, and high fashion, the artist herself changes and conforms to these mainstream images of women while remaining in control of the portrayal of herself. The works are meant to invoke different emotions from different viewers, which reflects the viewers own preferences for aesthetics, beauty, and ideals of femininity. Large-scale paintings demand attention from the viewer and force the viewer to confront the model’s gaze and body. Female portraiture and models in the past and present have been primarily dominated by male artists who have controlled the model and viewer’s gaze. By using acrylic, large-scale canvases and contemporary images, the artist places these women within the current time but invokes female identities that have existed throughout art history and Western culture. Catherine Soza’s work continues to examine how identity and expression can be examined, understood and portrayed through art.
“Brown Eyes” is representative of the artist’s recent works that are studying expression and portraiture of animals and wildlife. The works seek to express the personality and uniqueness of individual animals. The work is done in chalk pastel, pencil and conte and attempts to carefully bring forth and expand upon the expressions and individuality of animals from photographs the artist has taken. The artist is taking the power of expression and gaze found in human portraiture and applying it towards animals. Although animals are often portrayed in generic expressions and settings, each animal is meant to have it’s own distinct personality and narrative. “Brown Eyes” invokes a connection with the viewer through its gaze and thus make it familiar, although the viewer may not have any actual connection with the animal the image represents.
Catherine Soza is a recent graduate of the Joint Honours Fine Arts & Anthropology B.A programs at the University of Waterloo. She lives and works in the city of Waterloo and has continued to show her work in Ontario. Painting and drawing are her primary mediums particularly in acrylic and chalk pastel. Humanity and culture has always been a subject of interest to the artist, both academically and socially, and her work seeks to incorporate thoughts, ideas, and contemporary views of humanity particularly the female form.
The artist strives to participate in and support the local art community and encourage the growth and appreciation of all arts in the Waterloo region. Her participation in various volunteering roles has been driven by a passion for community and growth for artists in the region.
To contact Catherine: