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Biography: Sonia Falcone

Sonia Falcone: Windows of the Soul

The mystic’s enraptured view of the world reveals a divine pulse that remains forever hidden from the eyes of the profane. Sonia Falcone’s installation Windows of the Soul is driven by the artist’s desire to grant the rare and humbling gift of this vision to all of us.
Projected across an uneven, six-meter wide barrier of tall, thin, vertical slats, a myriad of natural and artificial objects absorbs the viewer’s field of vision, including vastly enlarged blood cells, swirling flower petals, sharp-edged geometric forms, and crackling 1V static. Small points of light zoom together to form a complex globular cluster, and later fly apart in a burst reminiscent of the titanic explosion that began time and gave birth to the universe. At one point, small white spots of light descend the face of the installation against an ascending flow of bright colors, like the fall of individual souls into the world of matter and the promise of their subsequent ascent as pure spirit. The impassive rectangular panels that form the screen for this drama recall a loose gathering of Alberto Giacometti’s emaciated figures, hinting that the divergent worlds within our minds are as important to the communal unfolding of reality as the guiding hand of some great but invisible cosmic architect. The astounding proqression of hauntingly beautiful images in Windows of the Soul affects us in much the same way the primal portraits of life in the Lascaux caves must have struck their viewers in the flickering firelight. We feel the mystery of divine emanation spilling out before our eyes and recognize that the primordial act of creation renews itself every single moment.
Falcone’s art often strikes a symbolic balance between the natural and the artificial, honoring both as interdependent realms through which the divine can manifest itself. A case in point is Windows of the Soul I, a precursor to the current installation that filtered neon lights through hundreds of small bottles filled with colored flower oil extracts, creating a luminous grid of iridescent cells shining from within. Though much simpler in execution, the earlier piece is just as profound in its implications. (It can be seen briefly in the CUITent installation as a bright image of shimmering precision that slips by almost before it can be grasped.)

Because of its visual and conceptual complexity, Windows of the Soul invites comparisons with a vast range of profound artworks that have preceded it. Among the things that come to mind are the sleek minimalistlmystical sculptures of John McCracken, the profoundly intricate weavings of fiber artist Sheila Hicks, the groundbreaking experimental animations of Oskar Fischinger, and the augmented reality installations of new media artist Golan Levin. All of these works have the ability to reward extended contemplation with a deeply spiritual response. Yet Windows of the Soul is much more direct in its ability to strike a chord inside those who stand before it. People are deeply moved in its presence, sometimes to tears.
Such profound responses are never easy to explain rationally, and perhaps we shouldn’t try. However, Falcone’s initial inspiration for Windows of the Soul can suggest a lot to us about its hidden depths. At least partly based on The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, the installation’s exuberant flow of images quietly alludes to the great mystic’s relentless search for divine love and ecstatic union with God. Yet Windows of the Soul surpasses St. John’s poem by refusing to treat the spiritual as something locked away in a secret place, far from everyday experience. In a recent interview Falcone commented, “when I look around I see not only the wonders on land and sea … but also the marvel of an old man playing with his dog, a little boy on his way to school. .. anything that contains hope and faith.” ShE! hints that casual moments of wonder are more potent proof of divine perfection than any complex theological argument or hermit’s retreat from society could ever hope to provide. Her art urges us to recognize this same perfection in the world around us, as a living image of the elusive Absolute. It is this quiet but firm conviction that all things surrender their secrets to those with eyes to see that gives Windows of the Soul its stunning power.
Jeff Edwards is an art critic and faculty member in the Visual and Critical Studies pmgram at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. He has an MFA in Art Criticism and Writing from SVA, and a Master’s Degree in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management.     ‘

Sonia Falcone is a Bolivian painter and artist. She was born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 27 March 1965, but from an early age moved to the United States where she began to paint. As a child, Sonia Falcone wanted to be a dentist; she attended nursing school but finally chose art as her path in life. She was Miss Bolivia International 1988. She married Pierre Falcone and mother of three children:
Perrine, Eugenie y Pierre Philippe.
To get to where she is today, Falcone has worked passionately and her works can be described as a true labor of love. From a very young age, she has felt a fascination for the arts that only a select few can experience. As a result of this, she studied history of art in California continuing her personal studies under different professors in Phoenix, Cabo San Lucas, Hong Kong and Mexico City.
Even though, her beginnings wen~ more figurative, (her first works were acrylics that she put under a generic name, ‘The Highest Emotions’), her life experiences began to dictate her artistic development and soon she decided to move to a more abstract form. Her recent work has been described as and characterized by its large dimensions and vibrant colors. Her secret integration of art play and her joie de vivre have created a unique harmony.
In these exhibitions, Falcone manifests another phase of her personality with her most known presentation “Windows of the Soul”, revealing the elements that reflect her life experience. The spiritual theme is a central element in her work. Her spiritual ideal can be found in all structures, cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic, but achieves its full expression in the human form, shown in her monumental multicolored pieces, where we find the rainbow, the light snow-capped peaks of the Andes, the shadows that banish the sunrises, the construction of a world with llamas and fish and where, living the art of war, the sun of justice rose and the drops of blood became art and poetry.
At the beginning of the third millennium, after receiving an honorary doctorate from Trinity College of Graduate Studies in “Spirituality and Psychology”, she joined her social and artistic labor, thinking of art as a tool that could be used not only to understand thoroughly people’s problems, but also to help them think.
Falcone was invited as a volunteer by the Scottsdale Center for the Arts Museum (Arizona, United States) and devoted her time to community projects related to and in support of art: improvement and maintenance of the Opera, Theatre and the Museum of the city. As a member of the Board, she promoted the involvement of marginalized Latino communities to arts-related tasks. She is the founder of Essante Corporation, a multinational entity established specifically for people seeking better health and greater opportunities in their lives.
Windows of the soul II Video Art Installation, a major piece of this artist, participated in the XVII Bienal de Arte de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, where Sonia was invited to participate.
“Passions of the Soul”, one of her most recent Works, achieves a rapport between art and game, trying to reach the adult and the child within by creating metaphors that express a philosophy of life.

2011     Pinta London, Salar Gallery, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London UK.
2011     Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach County Convention Center, Palm Beach, FL, USA
2011     Miami International Art Fair, Salar Gallery, Miami Beach Convention Center, FL. USA
2010     Pinta New York Art Fair, Salar Gallery, New York City, USA
2010     Santa Cruz International Biennale, Casa de la Cultura, Santa Cruz Bolivia
2010     Solo Art exhibit, Galeria Lorca, Santa Cruz Bolivia
2010     Galeria Nota, La Paz Bolivia
2007     Solo Art Exhibit, Calvin Charles Gallery, AZ, USA
2006     Collective exhibition Phoenix City Government Convention Center- Civic Plaza, National Hispanic Woman Corporation
2006     Collective exhibition Museum of Phoenix