Chinatown Soup is delighted to present DEUCE, an exhibition of drawn and painted illustrations by artist-in-residence Sonnie Kozlover. Please join us for an opening reception on Thursday, June 13 from 6-9pm. DEUCE is Sonnie’s solo debut and on view through June 24.
Who is Sonnie? This question pervades the artist’s six-month exploration during her studio residency at Chinatown Soup. Facing a white wall underground, the artist abandoned her affinity for digital illustration to embrace a retro style on paper, balancing geometric logic with energetic line work that expresses brief, evocative moments. Her station was soon festooned with cut-outs and painted sketches, rendering the notion of screen time irrelevant save for playing Christine and the Queens tracks with relevant lyrics like, F-f-for whom are they mimicking endlessly?
While her process shifted to an analog approach, Sonnie’s subject remains consistent: round head, pointed nose, square shoulders, heavy-heeled limbs—the character that she draws is a mimicry of herself. Satisfied with the boundaries of this form, Sonnie’s latest body of work doubles her character to play at a schizoid identity. Influenced by Saul Steinberg who defined drawing as “an act of reasoning,” Sonnie deploys it as a method of self investigation. The double is a more complex structure than its form suggests—it takes two to create a frame of reference for understanding and complication.
Sonnie finds this exercise reassuring more often than not. The figure becomes personal territory, dancing around the boundaries of possibility and reveling in the pleasure of what forms the artist does not embody but nonetheless may possess through creative action.
As for the originating question, we may appreciate a series of two-fold answers…
Sonnie is a gesture and a conversation.
Sonnie is an exercise in geometric rules and forgiveness for skewed position.
Sonnie is muscular in body, but also in mental fortitude.
Sonnie is clarification, or what a mask often lacks.
Sonnie is an illustrator born in Moscow, raised in Milwaukee, and based in New York City, where she graduated from The Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University four years ago. Since then, she’s worked for a comic artist named Michael Kupperman, fallen in love with disco music, and made peace with her former life as a competitive Latin ballroom dancer. You can find Sonnie enjoying Prospect Park and being very, very Capricorn on the regular.