Sofía Ruiz

Costa Rica, b.1982

Lives and works in Costa Rica

Sofía Ruiz explores the depths of human experience in her paintings, offering a unique perspective on themes of otherness, duality and loss of identity. Drawing from her own poignant experiences, Ruiz navigates the depths of memory and family connections, infusing her work with resilience and anticipation.

Raised amidst the tumult of her mother’s amnesia and her grandmother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, Ruiz’s childhood was marked by a sense of disconnection and alienation within her own family. She remembers not being recognised and feeling like a stranger in her own home as her mother and grandmother made up false names, false birthdays and false memories. This sense of isolation permeates her art, which features imperfect and disjointed family units that serve as metaphors for the human condition.

Central to Ruiz’s work are her haunting portraits of children suspended in dreamlike states, often surrounded by abstract, animalesque forms that hint at deeper emotional landscapes. These narratives, rich with symbolism and nuance, evoke a sense of nostalgia and longing, prompting viewers to explore the hidden depths of their own experiences.

Ruiz describes her art as a mirror reflecting the unseen imperfections of childhood, where fragmented memories and distorted recollections converge. Yet, despite the weighty themes she explores, Ruiz’s work resonates with a sense of beauty and hope. Viewers are drawn into a world of introspection and contemplation, but also reminded of the strength of the human spirit. Ruiz encourages us to embrace the complexities of our own stories, finding solace in the shared experience of being imperfectly human.

Ruiz’ work has been exhibited in prestigious venues such as the Museum of Costa Rican Art in San José, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and in 2024 will feature in the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona.

Sofia Ruiz in her studio

“My characters are envisioned as part of an inner, surreal world that is at times wild and unknown, a place filled with imaginary, strange creatures and disconnected objects.” Ruiz, 2023