Piece of the Week: ‘Mindless’ by Sophie Moates
“Mindless” by Sophie Moates is a modern take on classic portraiture. The dark grey slate colors are reminiscent of tones from Goya or Ribera, but Sophie’s collage slicing skills have brought it abruptly into a strange modern new locale. I paticluarly like her play with the Bramante Staircase found inside the Vatican in Rome. The staircase is a double helix, with two staircases intertwined (one for ascending and one for descending), meaning that you can hypothetically walk up and down it uninterrupted (and often alone).
Perhaps for Sophie Moates walking a lonely spiral staircase is mindlessness.
The staircase is often a traditional motif for change or transition, and perhaps “Mindless” is also asking us to think about how we change, and who we change for, with the use of the common collage technique of disrupting or distorting faces on figures. These ideas are kind of like the swirling emptiness and stillness of “Mindless,” oscillating between thoughtful reflection and nothingness.
I find the work incredibly peaceful calming, and for those reasons, “Mindless” by Sophie Moates is our Piece of the Week.