Artist Interview with Sofia Zuluaga: International Latin American Artist

Artist Interview with Sofia Zuluaga: International Latin American Artist

Interviewer: Meera Shah, Director at Galleria Meera


Sofia Zuluaga is a Latin American artist born in Colombia whose work has been featured in over 50 international exhibitions, shows, and publications. Her work explores themes of social conditioning, sexuality, identity, and body image.

We speak to her today about her background, her most recent series of works and artistic influences.

Meera: Hi Sofia! To begin, I wanted to find out more about your art background.

Sofia: Hi Meera! I started painting in oil when I was six years old and never stopped. I went on to study at the Pratt Institute for a bit before realising that the training provided was not what I was searching for. I moved back to Miami and found a maestro that guided me to the Florence Academy of Art (arguably the best classical art academy in the world). I spent nearly five years in Florence, focusing on 19th century academic style painting and drawing. After Florence I moved to Barcelona where, to this day, I continue learning and trying to deconstruct the previous training that I received.

Meera: So following from that, who are your biggest influences?

Sofia: I think more than a ‘who’, it is a ‘what’. For instance, I am deeply influenced by my past, and the experiences that have led me to be who I am today. Trauma, violence, anger and pain are the driving factors in most of my work. I could name other artists and figures that I admire, but they don’t really influence what I paint.

Meera: I think one of the most notabale aspects of your work are the powerful emotions that pour out from it. With that being said,  what does your work aim to say from your perspective?

Sofia: I always liken my work to an onion, as it has many layers. Initially, what many people may perceive is the sexual nature of the paintings. This is absolutely intentional, as I want whoever looks at my works to question their stance on a taboo that is common and easy to identify.

Most of my paintings tackle societal conditionings and that is the next layer that viewers can allow themselves to explore. Whether I allude to these conditionings visually or with the titles of the works, what is important is that I do not complete the whole story and rather leave that to interpretation. This allows for the possibility of someone to relate to and connect with the subjects presented in my paintings.

I consider my works to be largely autobiographical, regardless of whether I am painting a human that looks like me or not. The ties and binds that I impose onto others to question are the ones I also have and am trying to free myself from. 

Meera: I can relate to the ties that constrain the figures in your paintings, I think we all have something we feel bound, or tied down by. As we go through life we either become more tangled in those ties or learn to slowly and painfully unravel them. It’s a fascinating concept. Speaking about fascinating, what is a little known fact about yourself you would like to share?


Sofia: I don’t shower on Sundays. It’s a thing.

Meera: Do you have any art making rituals?

Sofia: I listen to reggaeton most of the time that I paint. Don’t ask me why but it puts me in a state of focus and hyper-awareness.

Meera: I love reggaeton, and Latin artists in general – Becky G is an artist that I’ve been listening to lately. Latin music has a relaxing feel to it.

So, what projects are you working on at the moment?

Sofia: My new series is inspired by a law passed in Colombia (ley de ira e intenso dolor) which justifies femicides and was used to lower a perpetrator’s prison sentence for decades. Even though that law has been repealed in recent times, it shaped generations of women and how they were allowed to behave and act in society. I am a product of the oppression that Latin American women have lived through up until today. This series explores those roots, the impact that they have on my life and how they have shaped who I am today. The works will be solely self-portraits.

Meera: I’m really looking forward to seeing those paintings! Thank you for taking the time to speak with us and letting us get to know you better.

Sofia: Thank you Meera! It’s been my pleasure!

To learn more about Sofia,

To view and enquire about Sofia’s works available for purchase, visit our Virtual Gallery here: