Natacha Sochat multidisciplinary artist
My practice uses experiences, seeing, touch, smell, for ideas I create. This practice helps me be intuitive while constructing an object. I create in the space of my studio, but the memory of the actual experience and my psychological response are incorporated into the work. There are ideas that use other experiences such as books, movies, music, foods (smell and taste can convey a state of being), and textiles (touch is very important and can convey an idea or feeling). My experiences as a first generation American and a Latina woman as well as the experience of others in society are important to me. I am not a stereotype in any way, manner, or form. Currently some in our society seem to harbor narrow ideas about what it means to be from a particular ethnicity. My objects have references to being female, human, sister, wife, mother, healer, scientist, and multicultural.
Living with my eyes and mind wide open, along with the use of my hands (the Hand is the Mind), has been my practice for many years. I use fabric and yarn, oil, or acrylic paint, found objects, as well as ceramic objects. I spend a great deal of time thinking simultaneously with making. I have times while creating that I just work without thinking, and then there are times where I stop and see and think.
“The mission of my work has always been to improve the lives of others via the personal experience of my art objects. To contribute to public health in any way that I can regardless of the conceptual framework that my work embodies”
I have had over ten solo exhibitions of her work and been in over 100 group exhibitions.
Oh and by the way – I have been a gamer all of the time since gaming began.
***Of note is that this website is an archival site of my work, though it does not have records of all of all work.***
I have just opened a teaching studio and art gallery in Cary NC where I will exhibit my own work along with supporting other artists in the community. It is called SimpleVida Contemporary Art. I created a website for this endeavor which will have the information as it evolves. It is a very fresh adventure (life is an adventure!).
I was born in St. Claire’s Hospital in Manhattan, NYC. I was the first child of Carmen (Boricua) and Mario (Cuba). My father was involved in the Cuban Revolution, so his lifestyle resulted in that I was sent to Cuba at the age of 4 months. I was raised by my paternal grandmother Balbina and my uncle Miguel. My grandmother Balbina would take me to visit a spiritualist and curandera frequently. This spiritual healer predicted that I would also become a healer. At the age of 5 my grandmother Balbina and my uncle Miguel moved to the United States so that I could have an easier transition and be re-united with my parents.
The experience with my father greatly dominated my early life and affected my adult outlook on society and social justice. This also made me appreciate the wonder of just being alive in our world; the beauty that nurtures and surrounds us even in horrific times. This is the cornerstone from where I build art objects. I grew up in Manhattan and the South Bronx. I attended the Bronx High School of Science graduating with honors in 1968.
Being a first-generation child from immigrant parents made my early years as a young person difficult to navigate. I felt alone, sad, and not really belonging in my country of birth at times. I existed simultaneously within different cultures while trying to blend in. However, at this point in my life I no longer try to ‘fit in’, but rather accept the wonderful uniqueness of my condition. It is a gift that has given me deeper insight into being human. Though my art for a long time was about beauty (masking pain to survive), I felt I had as much right as anyone to express myself in whatever manner I chose and not simply what I was allowed to do due to my ethnicity. I evolved into an artist that wanted to contribute to the public health of other humans like me (and not like me), for there are way too many destructive things in our world.
I lived in Berlin, Germany (1972 – 1975) where I worked as a photographer and teacher at Andrews and McNair army bases. During this time while in Berlin I drew and painted. I photographed myself in different scenarios for I loved the black and white photography of Diane Arbus as well as the fantastic worlds of Jerry Uelsmann. DaVinci as an artist and scientist inspired me and I decided that I could be a healer and an artist. I was the first to go to college in my family.
I was the oldest of 5 children and because of my Hispanic culture I felt very obligated to my younger siblings and the community to be a role model. I studied biology as an undergrad at Boston University College of Liberal Arts. While an undergrad I worked in the lab of Professor Lynn Margulis who became my mentor and whose theory of symbiosis in evolution as well as her role as a mother and professional changed my life. While at BU I would visit the undergrad and graduate School of Fine Arts many times and met a few of the professors (Harold Tovish among them) when I sat in in some of their classes informally. Their philosophies shaped my perspective in creating art.
I attended the Boston University School of Medicine and practiced medicine until I retired from it. Though I was predominantly self-taught in art, I spent a few years at the Paul Ingbretson Atelier where I learned how to see the light perceptually. I was accepted into an MFA studio art Program at School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston/Tufts University after completing a post-Baccalaureate year in art. I opened an art gallery for Boston area artists with a fellow MFA grad (Kathy Halamka) in Boston. I have taught at numerous places including School of the Museum of Fine Arts (painting), the New Hampshire Institute of Art (drawing and printmaking) and was Master Teacher in Studio Arts at the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program (Concord, NH).
I subsequently worked as Medical Director Public Health in NH for emergency preparedness, developing protocols for biologic and terrorist events. All the while I created art projects. I create objects that are a positive public health experience.
I was awarded the Arts and Culture Award for NC in 2021 by the Diamante Arts and Cultural Center that serves all the Latinx community in NC.
Below are Links to some solo or special exhibitions:
MFA Thesis Aidekman Gallery Tufts University Boston, MA
MFA thesis video
SugiPOP! Portsmouth Museum of Art Snowboard
NeuroMorphic – Beland Gallery Essex Art Center Lawrence MA
NeuroMorphic – NKG Boston MA
Between Presence and Absence: Making Roots -The Carrack Modern Gallery Durham NC
Retablos – Waterworks Visual Arts Center Salisbury NC
Making Roots – CMAC Gallery Raleigh NC
Litmus Gallery Group exhibition interview
Eye am Witness – Paintings for Children, Waterworks Visual Arts Center Salisbury NC
Part I of Graduation speaker 2012
Part II of Graduation speaker 2012
2021 Arts and Culture Award
Face and Pattern solo exhibition 2021 Duke University
Art of the Mind Interview 2019
Herencia Group Exhibition 2019
Herencia 2021 Artist Panel