One to Watch

Sophie Morro creates new realities based on memories through her paintings

Sophie Morro is an emerging artist currently living and working in Montreal, Canada. She is pursuing a BFA in Studio Arts at Concordia University in Montreal and has studied fine arts and illustration in New York and Nice, France. Sophie finds inspiration for her paintings in film and the quotidien (relationships, dreams, home environments) and combines found imagery with her own photographs. Her dreamy montages  are often autobiographical, referencing the female form and themes of identity, transformation, beauty, and even the subconscious and the spiritual.

Sophie is the recipient of several artist grants, including Concordia University’s Fine Arts Reading Room Publication Grant and FASA Special Project Grant, which she has used to publish two artist books, titled Becoming a Witch and The Apartments of Montreal. She has also shown her works in group exhibitions in Canada, most recently at Studio XX in Montreal.

What are the major themes you pursue in your work? 

My work is often autobiographical and introspective in nature. I tend to explore ideas around transformation, beauty, identity, and the mystery in the unseen. I am also interested in dreams, the subconscious, and the spiritual, and how they influence my experience of life.

Blending found imagery with my own photographs, I collage, draw, and paint otherwise incongruous elements, people, and settings from my source images, altering colors and improvising from imagination to create a new image or reality. Painting is like magic in a way, you can bring things to life that you just wouldn’t otherwise see.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?  

Let go of the idea of finding a style. Just continue to experiment and make work; your style will emerge and continue to evolve from there.

Prefer to work with music or in silence? 

It depends on where I am in my process. If I am generating ideas, I prefer to work in quiet so I can really focus. If, however, I’m at a point where the work is more methodical or I know where I’m headed, then I’ll put some background music on.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be? 

Probably a painting by the Swedish artist Mamma Andersson. I love her color palette, compositions, and often female-related narratives. I would love to own some of my favorite art one day!

Who are your favorite writers?

I don’t stick to particular authors, but rather bounce around. I recently finished Patti Smith’s M Train, and I am currently reading a few books: photographer Sally Mann’s memoir Hold Still, a book of interviews with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, as well as a book on meditation. I also love looking through coffee table-sized art books. I have an exhibition catalogue from Peter Doig’s show No Foreign Lands that was here in Montreal, and it’s just beautiful.