Sofia Maria Paz, known as The Holy Quail, is an Argentine-American printmaker and photo-compositor based in Miami Beach, Florida. She received her printmaking MFA degree from Arizona State University (2018) and has since dedicated her practice to create fantastical scenes with symbolic narratives that reflect modern-day reality. Through her art she seeks to provoke new profound forms of viewer engagement that can evoke compassion, raise awareness, and instigate social change.
Sofia began combining print media and digital photo-compositing while working alongside Professor Emeritus, John Risseeuw, on numerous cross-disciplinary mixed media collaborations. While at Arizona State University, she received GPSA's Teaching In Excellence Award (2017) for her work with undergraduate fine art students.
I am half living my life on a tightrope. Tiptoeing in a constant balance between the trials of reality and its understanding through fantasy.
Traumatic experiences, which provoke one to relive feelings of embarrassment, guilt, doubt, self-blame, loss, anxiety, and fear, are an integral part of the psychological struggle of human existence. These concepts are formally applied through a multidisciplinary approach, stemming from print media and digital photo-compositing. To echo the multifaceted nature of memory, each piece is made by superimposing visual elements from diverse sources using Photoshop—including 18th Century art, social media, 1970’s horror films, fairy tales, and crime scene photography. By oscillating between evidence, fantasy, place, time, and dimensions, whilst touching on the current popularized topics of sexual abuse and human trafficking, this body of work displaces the viewer as a means to provoke a deeper level of understanding into another's consciousness.
Step into the world of Paz Portraits; where reality, fantasy, and tongue in cheek whimsy collide. This perpetual series comments on contemporary zeitgeists through the lens of absurdity and humor. Portraying the mantle of the modern day influencer, the artist transforms her own image into a satiric social commentary on the ups and downs of our daily lives—challenging as to what is most ludicrous; the artist's elaborate portraits, or the events and norms that govern our waking lives.