Sophie Messing was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She now studies printmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently an intern at Spudnik Press, a printmakers’ co-op in Chicago. She is influenced by mythology and early forms of spirituality, with a focus in polytheism as well as Hindu and Yoruban theologies. The artist employs a minimal style and is influenced by the work of Frank Stella and Josef Albers. The artist plans to continue working at Spudnik and other print shops as a means of working communally with other Chicago artists.
Vishnu took three steps and with his stride created space. According to this line from the Rig Veda, both the creative violence of his footsteps and the absolute neutrality of the spaces between provide us with the dimensionality to exist.
This work is both an affront and an affirmation to the iconoclast. Here I offer up my own gestural, planar visual vocabulary of divinity. By gestural I am not referring to the gesture of the mark or the hand, no; the gesture refers to ritual. My gestures are reverent, repetitive and most importantly, visual. The gestures involved in the rituals of printmaking processes come to light here.
These are my icons, my personal reactions to divinities and their stories.
I explore spatial relationships ultimately through a process of reduction and simplification—of stripping away in the style of the Minimalists to achieve the purest and most honest form of my message. But the message itself is not exact.
The iconoclast in me knows that to attempt to visually represent something as subjective as divinity would only result in something profane. So I develop my own symbols, deep-rooted but necessarily vague.