Interview on Voyage LA


Angelica Sotiriou

Angelica Sotiriou

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angelica Sotiriou.

Angelica, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.

I have been an artist for 45 years. I have known no other career. I have an MA and MFA from UCLA. I studied with incredible mentors. Graduate school in the late 1970’s was I believe to be one of the richest times of the West Coast’s art movement. I studied under the tutelage of Laddie John Dill, Lee Mullican, Jan Stussy and Tom Wudl while studying at UCLA. I have a studio and gallery at The Loft, LOFT2 2nd.

Floor Gallery and Studios in the arts district of San Pedro. My work has been shown nationally and internationally in museums, in galleries, in pop-up galleries and places of worship. I have been a teaching artist for 4o years. I have taught in many institutions in greater Los Angeles County. I have been an associate professor at USC, Loyola Marymount, UCLA, College of the Canyons and Los Angeles Unified Schools teacher training and arts specialist. I spent the majority of my art teaching career teaching at LACMA and MOCA.

My works are large abstract contemplative narratives. The works have been inspired by the early Byzantine Iconography method of working from dark values into light values. Each work is inspired by my meditations.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?

The average size of each work is 9′ x 4′. The surfaces are dense with color, texture, acrylic transparencies and reflective powders. Each work is a product of my personal meditations and contemplations. The works are very large and invite the viewer to participate as if they are walking through a door or peering into a vast window. Intentionally, I create works that make the viewer feel small and to experience the sense of being inside the works. The paintings become the atmosphere the viewer is standing in. The works intentionally are created in silence and I hope to evoke the same spirit of contemplative silence for my audience.

The works deal with reflective light by using interference powders… light reflects the color different from the perspective of the viewers and where they are standing. The work becomes interactive as the viewer and daylight change. Light reveals itself through the reflection of light/color at 180-degree turns. The works change with each degree of viewing that shifts, depending on the light of day, position of the viewer. The colors and the 10 layers of acrylic and nacreous are revealed in a way that the viewer ponders the revelation of images and colors as mystical.

Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?

Yes… the role of the artist has changed in the last 5 decades that I have been working. It would be a long thesis for me to walk you through what I have seen and experienced…. from conceptual, to realism… I have seen many genres, styles, focus, a shift in art representation, the role of museums and galleries come and go… I have seen artists use their art to make political statements, make art for themselves and self-indulgence.

I have seen technology shift art making… but, I am left with a sense that art has lost some of the much-needed skill bases learned through studying art making and art history… there is is a sense that anyone can become an artist… and there are many young artists that lack a foundation in the arts and gain short-lived notoriety… but, again this may be indicative of the time we live in.

My own journey has always been a bit of maverick and I have not chosen to be a part of the popular movements in the arts. My works early on were inspired by Mark Rothko and the late color fields of Monet’s room-sized works. I have never stopped working in my studio. I work whether or not I receive recognition for my life’s work. I honor my muse. I know no other language.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?

My work is on view at my studio and gallery in San Pedro. LOFT2, 2nd. Floor Gallery and Studios, 401 South Mesa, San Pedro by appointment or on First Thursday for the San Pedro Arts District ArtWalk. Individuals may also view my work on my website.