Juxtapoz

Andrew Soria's "America the Beautiful"

November 06, 2015

Last January, “America the Beautiful” by Miami-based Andrew Soria was selected as Best in Show at the close of Baton Rouge Gallery – center for contemporary art’s Surreal Salon 7 by the exhibition’s juror, Shag (Josh Agle). As the deadline for artists wanting to submit works for Surreal Salon 8 nears (Friday, November 13), we decided to catch up with Soria.

Soria’s vibrant digital collages offset his own photography with a heavy dose of Photoshop, creating overwhelming cityscapes that speak to our never-ending search of perfection. While the skyscrapers and pawn shops found in his work may have a cartoonish quality, they attempt to reflect a very real longing on the part of the city’s unseen inhabitants. Soria’s skylines and underpasses overflow and use the cityscape as a stand-in for the individual in constructing a metaphor for our desire to fill the holes we see within ourselves.
Since taking home top honors at Surreal Salon 7, Soria has looked inside by changing what is around him outside. He traveled to Ecuador, the birthplace of his father, for a month-long exploration of his own lineage. In the process, Soria says he has thought a great deal about how those in America “have everything, yet despite this, still find a way to become unhappy.” His lens captured new colors and structures in the hillsides and vistas of the South American nation, which have informed and populated his latest works. Soria’s trip has turned into something of a model for a larger crowdfunded project he hopes to begin in the near future, traveling to new cities, creating cityscapes and producing short documentaries on the locales.

Soria recently transitioned from his South Florida home to Los Angeles, finding a warm welcome with his “Miami POP!” having been selected for an upcoming exhibition at Marcas Gallery in Santa Ana. Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the eighth annual Surreal Salon in Louisiana’s capital city. With this year’s special guest juror, artist Elizabeth McGrath, the juried exhibition will again present pop-surrealist/lowbrow art from across America. The month-long exhibition is capped off by the Surreal Salon Soiree, a costumed event that welcomes hundreds and includes live bands, interactive experiences, games and more.

The exhibition uses a blind jurying process, meaning that the name and location of the artist behind each work is hidden from the juror, ensuring works are selected based solely on their artistic merit. Artists interested in submitting their own works for the juror’s consideration can do so at batonrougegallery.org/surreal-salon and have until Friday, November 13 to enter. The piece selected as Best in Show will be featured prominently in our editorial wrap-up of Surreal Salon in 2016.

For more information on and works from Andrew Soria, visit andrewsoria.com