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Creating Chaos | An Interview with Andrew Soria

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 Andrew Sorias’ style is vibrant. Andrew’s style is chaotic. Andrew’s style is nostalgic. Going from charismatic neighborhoods, expensive candies and super ironic scenes, he teaches us that he is a puzzle maker, able to capture the pure soul of the place he’s living and the values of the culture that he is surrounded by. Photoshop is his brush and people’s mind are his canvas. Andrew creates overwhelming, iconic and satirical collages, sometimes making fun of our “ridiculous” culture and other times he just creates. Whether in the sunny LA or in lively Miami, he has the ability to capture what makes a situation, a place or a concept unique. Shooting pictures with his camera and carefully choosing the right piece to create vibes and feelings that will make you say: “Wow, that’s cool.”

With a degree in graphic design, Andrew has always been a good “photoshopper”. But his passion and crazy creativity were driven by his professor, Ciro Marchetti. “He taught in a way that just made sense, he doesn’t use any images, and he creates everything straight on that program”. With a strong respect for his professor and finding a great potential in himself, he started creating random cityscapes. “It was never really intentional, it just happened to me by accident.”

The first cityscape he ever made is called City Life. “When my aunt came from NY to visit, she asked me to make a picture of a woman walking in the rain, in the city…. and I made this. Really, I had no idea of what I was doing at the time. I just thought it was cool.” This first artwork combines different cities, feelings and atmospheres. From this random concept, Andrew started to create new cityscapes, like Misdirection. One day, a photographer he worked with, saw his work and referred him to show in an art gallery in Miami. The curator of the gallery saw City Life, and asked for more pieces like it. From there he created more cityscapes.

“I guess I am an artist now. I will keep making these.”

From there, piece by piece, he built up his career like a puzzle, zooming out when it was needed. The making of his cityscapes is like a metaphor for life- “When you see the complete project you get overwhelmed, but, as in life, if you think that there are too many things to be done you will never make it.  The secret is not to think about the end goal, just to do it one step at a time. And then, eventually, it turns into something like this.”

As he said, the purpose is to be overwhelmed, he starts collages with many layers that you can get lost in, but “The point is not knowing when the artwork is finished: the only thing that matters is not to be too caught up in the details.” Andrew has to be caught up in the culture to create the cityscapes for the new project he is working on at the moment – Welcome to the Neighborhood. For this, he has literally immersed himself in the culture, traditions, landmarks and stereotypes of each one. “LA it’s like a hostel, it doesn’t stop.” LA has a lot of history. You can see it in the city, there is so much going on, so many different landscapes. There is something particular in every single neighborhood and in order to represent it, Andrew plays around with the concept of gentrification, representing their identities that he “steals” from locals and landmarks. “There’s a lot of culture in coffee shops, it is the original meeting place, so I’ll go there to get an idea of the locals and neighborhood. It’s interesting. You bump into people and start asking questions, it helps me figure out what to create.” In the end, he is able to transmit the essence of each area: rundown, on the rise, iconic and historic, he just needs all the puzzle pieces to stitch everything together.

“In a way they are all personal.” This is what he confessed talking about the creation of his older works. Like Easter eggs, he hides pieces of himself in his collages – something sentimental, nostalgic or silly – that nobody but him can understand.

His most personal artwork is called “Mijos”. It represents his grandfather, whom he never met. There’s a story behind it, even if at first look there’s no way to understand it. Coming from Ecuador, he never me his grandfather. Going back to explore the land and his roots, he decides to visit his grave. Paying tribute to an Ecuadorian tradition, in which artists paint sketches representing the sacred heart of Jesus on people’s graves in the cemetery, he shot a photo of all different ones to create this homage to his heritage.

From hiding personal memories into his artworks to making fun of today’s society with two ironical and provocative pieces made in 2015: “Designer Drugs” and “Expensive Tastes”, Andrew shows he is not afraid to put his thoughts into a labyrinth of layers. Thinking about how ridiculous our culture is and how subjective art is, he created something that in the end not only looks cool but give people something to think about, in a softer way.

“I don’t necessarily agree with those pieces.  Today, you can take the logo of any designer brand and slap it on literally anything, and people will call it art.  It’s nonsense. When that idea hit me, I started making it as a joke.  However, I ended up creating something that I really liked.”

We at MiND really appreciated the “behind the scenes” look of his new project, as well as the opportunity to enjoy a couple hours in the sunny LA – even if on Skype. We look forward to the launch of his new project and wish Andrew to keep on going with his cool, casual and anything but average lifestyle.

By: Martina Ronchetti