Sculptures by SHAR SOSH
Shar Sosh paints Elks, bottles, sculptures, manequins and other sculptures to help childrens for example for the red-cross
Starting to paint the six foot elk, I was inspired by three young children that came to watch me paint. They did not say a word, only spoke through their eyes. As they walked around the elk, I could feel the energy from the three innocent faces and could also feel the excitement. Picasso once stated he would spend all of his life trying to get back to the innocence of a child, for that is where freedom is. I dedicate this elk to the freedom of the child.
Sculpture for the YMCA
SHAR SOSH paints bottles
If it is true that “art is indeed not the bread but the wine of life,” then nowhere is it more so than in the work of South Bend, Indiana, painter Shar Sosh, whose work reflects her philosophy of not only tasting but of enjoying, savoring, even relishing experience. “With everything I look at,” says the vibrant, magnetic artist, “I imagine how I would paint it. Even when it’s a dull, gray day, I don’t see it as boring or washed out; I see it as beautiful, in brilliant color.
Given her love of beauty and sensuality, it’s no surprise that Sosh has been spending nearly half her time working and living in Paris, France, for nearly a decade. “I’ve always had an attraction to France, even from a very early age,” she explains. “I first visited there with my mother when I was young, and from the beginning, it was a place where I just felt completely at home. It’s the city of art--art is everywhere, it’s part of everyone’s consciousness.
France being the undisputed wine capital of the world, one of Sosh’s most recent projects naturally followed her attraction to the place. “I paint everything, and I see everything as a painting,” she says, and fulfilling her statement was a unique decision to start painting wine bottles. This led in turn to her successful solo show at the South Bend Regional Museum of Art last spring.
Late one night in Paris two years ago, after the opening of one of her shows, Sosh began some new small paintings. But upon discovering she had run out of canvas, she decided to try painting on the empty wine bottles from the party (there were eighty). “It was a great challenge, one that I loved immediately,” she exclaims. “I felt so free! I continued painting them all night long, until I had completely covered their surfaces. Painting three-dimensionally instead of on a typical flat surface forced me to see differently; it opened me up a lot.
She was hooked. Upon her return to Indiana, she persisted painting bottles, treating her Paris examples as sketches for her next several works on canvas. Shortly thereafter, she had a show in a local French-style brasserie-gallery called La Salle: “Afterwards, the restaurant started saving me their empty bottles. A lot of people became interested in the series, including a curator at the South Bend Museum, who immediately offered me a solo show of the bottles.
The show took place last spring. Having set herself the challenge of painting a thousand bottles for the exhibition, Sosh asked the restaurant to continue holding aside its empty magnums. As she became more involved with covering the surfaces of bottles, her curiosity grew; “I wondered if I could get an even bigger-surfaced bottle from the wineries in California, one that I could use to kick off the show at the entranceway of the museum,” she explains, “but I couldn’t find one big enough, so I hired a local woodcarver to make one.” The result was a giant specimen of solid wood, six feet high and weighing five hundred pounds. “I couldn’t even get it upstairs in my studio, so I had the sculptor put it on a piece of carpet to slide it around, and worked on a ladder to paint the top,” she recalls.
With her project, Sosh joined the ranks of many others throughout history who have painted bottles and ceramics, including Picasso and French Surrealist René Magritte. But she called upon the ideas of even more styles in the course of her undertaking. After an encounter with her impressive, made-to-order bottle outside the museum, visitors to her show were greeted with all sorts: painted in curls and swirls, in black and white or unbridled color, covered with unrecognizable abstract patterns, realistic portraits, or landscapes. Her bottles recalled the starry skies of Van Gogh, the Cubist faces of Picasso, the feminine silhouettes of Matisse, the stripes and squares of Mondrian, the drips of Jackson Pollock, the imaginative visions of Peter Max. But throughout, they always retained the vision of their creator, whether they contained just numerous lips or eyes staring out at the viewer, Op-Art illusions, or hushed, pale tones that almost seemed to blend into the walls.
Sosh continues to paint bottles as well as furniture and murals (she recently participated in a project in Paris to help renovate and create original murals on the walls of a historic metro station in the famous Montmartre district, where such artists as Toulouse-Lautrec, Utrillo, and Renoir had painted the winding cobblestone streets, colorful nightclubs, and noisy outdoor cafes). Sosh says emphatically, “What’s important is not only making the art but having the mentality of an artist. I paint every day, all the time, so much so that I dream about painting, I think about it every minute. Even when I work all night long, I get more energy rather than less.” And her energy and enthusiasm are sure to continue growing, just as her roomful of painted bottles, so long as people continue to consume wine and to appreciate art.
Sosh began her studies in commercial art and then moved on to the Art Institute of Chicago. She has taken many trips to Asia, where, she reports, “I came to know many people and places from Thailand to Taipei, from Hong Kong to Malaysia.” She has participated in solo and group exhibitions in the United States, France, Norway, and Tunisia, including annual shows in Paris since 1989 at the Salon Collectif Des Artistes; Gallery LaSalle in South Bend, Indiana; the South Bend Regional Museum of Art; Galerie Fabienne Guex in Paris; Atlas Galleries in Chicago, Illinois; the Forum des Halles in Paris; and the Les Carroz in Mont-Blanc; several times, her work has also been featured on the cover of Paris-Montmartre magazine. Her paintings are in many private and corporate collections, including those of NBC Studios and Radio City Music Hall, both in New York City; Kingswood International in Hong Kong; and P.A.M. in Sandnes, Norway. Her work is available for corporate and private collections, gallery and museum exhibitions, and leasing.
Sosh’s first experience painting on the surface of empty wine bottles occurred over four years ago, after on of her many exhibitions in Paris. Shar had run out of canvas yet needed to paint and saw the leftover eighty bottles from the opening as an opportunity. In all, she has covered over two thousand bottles with unbridled color, either in abstract patterns or realistic portraits and landscapes. So far the demand has been phenomenal for these hand painted sculptures as they depict the starry skies of Van Gogh, Cubist faces by Picasso, feminine silhouettes by Matisse or the stripes and squares of Mondrian.
As she became more involved with covering the surfaces of bottles, her curiosity grew. “I wondered if I could get an even bigger-surfaced bottle from the wineries in California, one that I could use to kick off the show at the entranceway of the museum,” she explains, “but I couldn’t find one big enough, so I hired a local woodcarver to make one.” The result was a giant specimen of solid wood, six feet high and weighing five hundred pounds, its surface painted by Sosh. “I couldn’t even get it upstairs in my studio, so I had the sculptor put it on a piece of carpet to slide it around, and worked on a ladder to paint the top.” She finally succeeded, and visitors to this interesting show were treated not only to this giant decanter but rooms filled with her colorful bottles, tables, and chairs.
This bottle has traveled the country, from exhibits at the wineries in California to the Inaugural Ball for President Clinton in 1996. One of Shar’s original glass bottles was chosen to be buried in President Clinton’s time capsule to be opened one hundred years from now.
Shar Sosh Studios
Miami/ Boca Raton/Paris
Office Phone/Fax (574) 271-2378
Phone (305) 778-0932