Home Magazine A conversation with Sofia Cristina Jiménez, an artist from Madrid that finds her peace in the creation of her artworks

Sofia Cristina Jiménez is an artists that primes emotions and the relationship between nature and humans in her canvases. She plays with real and fictitious dimensions, allowing the viewver to dream and experience the images she creates unexpectedly while painting. Her crestive process is techinical and intuitive. 


Kooness: Tell us about your works and your artistic process

Sofía Cristina Jiménez: My works explore the immersion in nature, emotion and life, merging the real and the imaginative within magical realism. I use real elements as anchors that predispose the viewer to open up to the imagined, to the complete composition of a universe that never quite exists. I work both on canvas and on paper, exploring complex concepts through surrealist creations, poetry and wordplay. I use graphite on paper for raw and direct feelings, and acrylic on canvas to reflect on current contexts from a colorful and hopeful perspective.

K: How did your artistic practice change throughout the years?

SCJ: The most relevant change has been to find my voice in surrealism and magical realism.

This transition allows me to have fun and to get excited during the creation of each artistic work, to develop concepts with freedom and communicate messages in a more real and authentic way. In the end, reality is only a subjective interpretation, so it is never completely real. The approach that I use identifies me and challenges my artistic practice every day.

K: Is there anything in particular that inspires you?

SCJ: I am inspired by the concept of "what does not exist". Before I start painting or drawing I know that whatever I paint, it will be something that doesn't exist in the real world. It is very exciting as everything is surprising. I find inspiration in the emotions of the individual and the environment: how the individuals impact the environment and the other way around. I am inspired by my own experiences and those of the people around me, from my emotions and the one surrounding me and from my travels. I love to travel, and I love to see free animals in their habitat, zebras in the Kenyan savannah, toucans in the Amazon jungle, orangutans in Borneo, or the tarsier in the Philippines... Every trip I made is an endless source of inspiration.

Sofia Cristina Jiménez. El Flamenco. Courtesy of Juca Claret Gallery.

K: Tell us about your latest series

SCJ: The series "Plastic Nature" seeks a connection with wild nature. In realistic environments, I represent animal figures that I invent myself, with disproportionate volumes that still retain the identity of their nature. The organic - the natural environment - and the artificial - plastic creatures - coexist in the same space. The series reflects on the preservation of biodiversity and the intrusion of plastic into our ecosystems by depicting animals turned into helium balloons in their natural habitat under the premise that "plastic should not be the only animal that inhabits our lagoons". In a world overloaded with visual impacts, the aim of my plastic universe is to provoke a smile and invite an inner reflection. Avoiding a direct confrontation with the public, I aim to provoke in others the same tenderness and sensitivity that I feel towards all animals and the environment that surrounds them. 

K: How does your background influence your work?

SCJ: My grandfather was a painter and copyist at the Prado Museum, so art has always been present since my childhood. Although my main training has not been in fine arts, I obtained a diploma in this area for the pleasure of continuing to learn and create. On the other hand, my professional experience for more than thirteen years in luxury fashion, has allowed me to keep in touch with art, with the love for details, shapes and colors, both when developing collections and with the search for countless sources of inspiration, which to this day impact me consciously and unconsciously in the development of my works.

K: Can you describe your artistic process?

SCJ: My artistic process begins with introspection, a visualization and a sensation: it can be the humidity of a jungle, anxiety, or tenderness, but it is always a sensation. I need to know the what first before the how. Once the work is defined in my head, I choose the support and the medium, not before. Then I make a selection of inspirational images, a moodboard that captures the essence of the feeling I want to convey. Then, I prepare a sketch directly on the canvas to see the composition and I start to work with acrylics, building up layers of color and texture until the composition comes to life. The process is both technical and intuitive, allowing me to experiment and adjust my work while creating. 

K: What does your art mean to you?

SCJ: For me, art is everything that lifts you up and makes you feel you can fly. It is the purest

and the most sincere form of expression, because it is born from inside, from calmness, almost without the intention of being seen, free from any judgment, and it can be the most direct form of connection with another human being, because the message is so strong that it ignores the logic to reach directly to the soul.

Sofia Cristina Jiménez's Exhibition at Juca Claret Gallery. Courtesy of Juca Claret Gallery.

K: Who are your biggest influences?

Although I continue to include references every day, my major influences are artists such as Bosch, Henri Rousseau and his nature, Escher and René Magritte for their ability to combine the real with the fantastic. Another one is  the composition and color of David Hockney, and the treatment of color in Fauvism, and the humor and irony we can find in pop art.

K: What role does art play in society, in your opinion?

SCJ: Art inspires society, transcending time and space, which is why it must be accessible to everyone. All types of arts: a person can be moved and feel understood when reading a poem by an author from a century ago, inspired when observing a work of art or escape when listening to a song composed in the antipodes; because painting, dance, music, poetry are media that not only transmit messages, but also evoke emotions, challenge perceptions, inspire changes, enrich our lives and elevate our spirit through the connection between human beings regardless of distance, language or the passage of time.

Written by Kooness

Cover Image: Sofia Cristina Jiménez's Exhibition at Juca Claret Gallery. Courtesy of Juca Claret Gallery.



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