As an American born in 1987, I have grown up in the Internet era, exposed to and acutely aware of our species and the extremes of our behavior, from the atomic bomb to democracy. After personally experiencing the post-modern existential crisis that many of us have shared, I strive to find understanding and meaning through art with the universal languages of science and nature.
At its core, the purpose of my work is to conceptually challenge our perceptions of self, humanity, life, death, and the environment, in order to find universal meaning that brings humanity closer together by allowing the transcendence of self.
In my process, I allow each concept to suggest its own material and form, and I have worked with a range of materials such as bacteria, soil, and wood. Several projects have integrated sculpture with performance, social practice, and video.
My artwork is often realized through collaboration. This is because I believe the efforts of many create some of the greatest works, and in turn, the work of a group allows for an experience of self-transcendence. Collaboration in my work happens through four forms: (1) through concepts that are built by multiple individuals or through crowd-sourcing; (2) through experts who know specialized materials or processes and can provide skill or knowledge; (3) through the labor of many individuals, who collectively can create something beyond the abilities of any one person; and (4) through interactive work where participation creates the piece’s meaning.
My pieces have drawn from each of these methods. The concepts for almost every piece have been refined through conversation, and across the fields of agriculture, biology, civics, and architecture, subject matter experts have made it possible to create pieces like the Agar Box and Garden Table; for large projects like Unifying the Divide, the efforts of many people have made it possible to complete works in a single day or in timeframes impossible for a single individual; and multiple pieces, like Communitatis Vita, are only activated once the public engages with the work.
Lea WiseSurguy-Sophiliazo was born in southern California in 1987. She received her BFA from the University of Dayton in 2010 and received her MFA from New Mexico State University in 2015. Lea has shown in galleries across the US, including the Community Gallery in Santa Fe, the Salisbury University Gallery in Maryland, and in Arizona and New Jersey through the International Sculpture Center. Her work has been featured in the University of Dayton Magazine, DIN Magazine Online, and the Las Cruces Sun-News. Lea lives and works with her husband Patrick DeSimio-Sophiliazo on Pata Viva Farm in Las Cruces, New Mexico.