3Q: Sophia Chizuco interview by Luis Martin
January 18, 2016
1. What is your most memorable encounter with art?
When I was a child, about four years old, my parents took me to the Louvre in Paris. We went to see theMona Lisa and I touched it. My curiosity got me a lot of attention, I was immediately removed by a smiling security guard. My parents where amused and horrified. After that incident I became "the girl that touched the Mona Lisa". It carried a lot of weight.
2. Do your Japanese roots influence your work?
I voided making referenced to Japanese culture in my work because I wanted to learn and experience a new way of being. I even changed my name and started using "Sophia" but after the 2011 Fukushima earthquake I felt a need to own my Japanese roots.
3. Have you had any mentors?
Larry Poons influenced my work and the way I make art. He was my teacher at the Art Students League of New York. After receiving my B.A in Art and Education at Tokyo Gakugei Univercity in Japan I took classes there to further develop my art practice. I wanted to learn abstract painting so I took Larry's class. He is super crazy and very talented. In one sentence he could say a dozen "F" words without batting an eye. His class was a fun house. A lot of his lectures, which seemed to shock all the other women in the calls, was lost in translation for me. But, he always gave me good energy. I would visit Japan and when I returned to Larry's class he noticed that the experience had shrunk me, in my work and in my demeanor. His class opened me up and he said I should not go back. While I do visit home, his insight has made me a stronger Artists in every way.
3 1/2. One more questions... What does that little Mona Lisa girl want to touch?
She want to touch Jeff Koon's play dough, but it was to be real so I can make something myself.
Don't miss Twine "0116" Sophia Chizuco's fist solo project in NYC on view at
Parenthesis Art Space January 21 through Feburary 16, 2016.
Vist the Artist's website at SophiaChizuco.com