ART & DESIGN

Sophia Narrett’s Common Threads


Photographer: Charlie Rubin

Artist Sophia Narrett likes to tell stories with a needle and thread. Her impressively embroidered canvases, saturated with pop culture references, are a testament to her self-taught skills but also express her cheeky perspective on celebrity and collective fantasies. Almost comic-like in their narration, Narrett’s latest works are her most intricate to date. Before her upcoming solo show at Arts + Leisure, the young artist offered us a preview.

Narrett’s “This Meant Nothing” opens May 28th at Arts + Leisure, 1571 Lexington Avenue, New York, artsandleisure.net.

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

Artist Sophia Narrett in her Brooklyn studio.

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

“I came to embroidery organically. I was a painter before, but I was always really story and figuratively driven. I was using red thread for a more sculptural piece and I got the idea to try to create a drawing out of it. I became addicted to it.”

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

“This is one of my earliest pieces. The learning process was all trial and error.”

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

“In this show, there are four sequential pieces. The premise is that two women meet on an episode of The Bachelor and fall in love. It is the first time I’ve done something this explicitly narrative.”

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

“I think the best artists create work they want to see. That’s what I’m doing.”

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

“I’ve finished four pieces and I’ve been working here for at least six hours a day since September. Once, in grad school, my finger swelled up, but there haven’t been any injuries since.”

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

“When I work I watch TV constantly, shows like The Bachelor or Married at First Sight. It’s all so problematic but you get swept up in this collective fantasy. I like to use the images to reconstruct my own.”

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

“I find a lot of images for my Photoshop collages through Tumblr. I’ll scroll through everything from pornography to Victorian fairy paintings. I see these characters on the edge as separate from the story. Eroticism as ornamentation.”

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

“They are all mounted on fabric. This piece is made up of five pieces stitched together. Here, you can see the seams.”

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

“I’ve been making these dolls forever. I bake and bend them. I love playing with the forms.”

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Photographer: Charlie Rubin

“What I love about embroidery is that it tells you when it’s finished. I never really knew with painting when something was done, but with embroidery, the process takes over and almost fights you just because it is so slow. You reach a limit to how legible an image can be in thread. It’s a very craft mindset.”