Episode 88 / VIAN SORA | artist, painter, Louisville, Kentucky | Independent Special 2024
Recorded February 20, 2024, 32 min., language english

Vian Sora b. 1976 in Baghdad, Iraq, is an iraqi-american painter, living and working in Louisville, Kentucky. Growing up in Baghdad in a kurdish arab family coming from academia and culture, the great and rich Mesopotamian foundation of her cultural heritage is fundamental to her. Her life was enriched by both cultures as well as threatened by the persecution her family experienced. War, violence and death were part of those years, as was the beauty and sublimity her parents tried to install in her life through exposure to culture and art. Life and death were always on the same plate. One can't approach Vian's work and her narrative without touching upon her background, which informed her life and now is also lending itself as backdrop of the work. She uses herself, the bodily, emotional and psychological experiences she had to go through to transform the hurt and pain into an utterly positive and energetic lust for life, which is brought into the world through her body and flows into her paintings. Her aim is to bring beauty and richness out of the horrific past. Vian talks her migration through many countries, her studies (including Computer Science), her painterly process, her obsession with color, form, texture, painting and her love for different cultures. She opens herself up to a cornucopia of influences, landscapes, experiences, filtering it all through the microcosmos of every cell in her body and releasing it onto the canvas. Her deep color sense, the patterns she finds are beautiful with a very sophisticated sense of composition, however frequently a dark form lurks in the shadows. Vian also discusses her solo presentation with David Nolan Gallery at the Independent, which she intends to be an immersive experience for the viewer – a booth with large scale, vibrant paintings one can't only look upon, but has to fully encounter.

Artists website and instagram:

Interview with Vian Sora:

Gallery website:
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