"My paintings are inspired by Latin American art and craft. I am fascinated by the ways these beautiful things are worn, used and displayed in both the places where they originate and also how they are worn, used & displayed in my home town, San Antonio, Texas, where Latino culture gives life, color, texture, taste and music to our lives. Primary inspirations are the Huipil, a meso-american garment textile made in this hemisphere for many centuries and Trees of Life, which are usually expressed as three dimensional ceramic folk art. Examples of both of these art forms vary widely from the simple and rustic to the exquisitely detailed. Thematically, they tell many stories about their makers and the places they are from. Trees of Life frequently center on Creation or celebrate the history of a particular familia, tracing it back to certain pair of ancestors, if not all the way back to Adam and Eve. The nativity is popular as well but when one looks a little deeper, Tree of Life can be found on a myriad of topics...from the totally traditional to the unbelievably unorthodox.
My newest series of paintings interprets the Trees of Life two-dimensionally and with a contemporary edge. The paintings depict modern women integrated with Trees of Life. Influenced as well by 18th and 19th Century Spanish and Mexican portraiture, iconic religious images and masks, they are elaborate with ornamentation. Inspired by folk art, the intended effect is quirky and unpretentious. Each Tree of Life incorporates a set of thematic figures that represent what the woman is thinking, or obsessing about at the imagined moment. I expect to be adding to this series for many years to come."
Kathy Sosa reinvented herself when she stepped off the fast track of the advertising world and moved, with her husband Lionel Sosa, to a small town of San Antonio, Texas. The couple re-created a classic Texas farmhouse and turned an existing workshop on the property into a painting studio for Lionel, where artistic friends and family regularly joined in for artistic practice and study. Tired of merely watching the group paint, Kathy picked up a paintbrush for the first time at age 45. Soon after, she began studying with renowned portrait artist Nelson Shanks at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia. In 2006 she began experimenting with a form of mixed media portraiture, which combined her oil portraits with textiles and wallpapers from her extensive collection. In 2006, she was commissioned by the Texas Conference for Women to do a portrait of keynote speaker Martha Steward to whom the artist personally presented the work. In 2007 Sosa began to explore the artistic expression of mestisaje, the blending of peoples, races, ethnicities, ideas, habits, and cultures that characterizes the Texas-Mexico border region that has been her home since childhood. She received national recognition for the result of that passion, the traveling exhibition "Huipiles: a Celebration," which debuted at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. as part of the Smithsonian Latino Center's 2007 summer season "Mexico the Smithsonian" before traveling to the Museo Alameda in San Antonio in 2008. 2009 saw Sosa's one woman show at San Antonio's Blue Star Contemporary. Her work has been featured on CNN, in FiberArts Magazine, in Skirt!, San Antonio Woman, Country Lifestyle, Destinations, and is available in San Antonio through AnArte Gallery.
For more information visit Kathy Sosa's website.