The Surrealistic Style of Sofia Pashaei

This month’s artist feature is Sofia Pashaei, who specializes in both paint and film. Pashaei, who is from Sweden originally, currently has artwork on display here in Orlando. If you’re local, you can catch the Le SALON 2022 exhibition over at Snap! Orlando in person for yourself. Pashaei’s distinct style of paintings caught my eye, and I felt inspired to feature her work here on the blog.

About the Artist

Sofia Pashaei was born in Sweden in 1989. Her art is mainly expressed through paintings and animation. Pashaei aims to portray experiences in our modern culture through an investigative lens. Her paintings capture the theatrics of our everyday lives — the strangeness of situations we might otherwise consider ordinary.

Artist Sophia Pashaei in her studio surrounded by her artwork.

You’ll notice that her work often includes female figures who may appear passive, but are key players in each painting’s scenario. The artist draws inspiration from both personal memories and observations of the world around her. There’s a feeling of transition and moving through life that can be felt in her work. I personally love that her paintings have a recognizable style, and her unique use of color and patterns.

Pashaei’s Artwork

I Promise You, I Was Here

Sophia Pashei's vibrant panting with a woman's pensive face and a duck.

In this oil on linen piece, I Promise You, I Was Here, has a bright and vibrant feeling at first glance. As you take a closer look, the moodiness of this piece seems to reveal itself. It’s interesting how you can almost feel the pensive nature of the woman in blue through the way she’s portrayed.

Synchronicity II

A painting with a woman hunched over and a set of arms outstretched.

What I love about this painting is the way Pashaei has tied together patterns and shapes. It’s not only pleasing to the eye, but it also tells a story. The way Pashaei forms such a cohesive palette and makes every element come together so naturally gives her work a calming aesthetic.

Moving out, Moving in, Moving On

A painting of a woman laying on top of a box of books as another woman leans on it.

You can cleary see the chaos of entering into a new era in this piece. The exaggerated way Pashaei captures this experience reminds us how it can feel to be almost “forced” into a new life chapter. I love how she balances the overwhelming feelings of change with visually clean, satisfying lines.

My Rooster and I

A painting of a woman stretching as a rooster walks by.

You might notice that Pashaei has a recurring theme of various birds throughout her pieces. I find it fascinating that she incorporates different kinds of birds as a way of creating consistency between different works.

Mother’s Milk

A painting of different shapes topped with a woman's face.

This stunning piece is from a series by Pashaei, entitled Mother’s Milk. These paintings in particular take a closer look at womanhood. This take on what it means to grow into a woman is so intriguing to me. What I think is most special about this piece is how it really can be left to the viewer’s interpretation. It’s all about our individual perceptions.

The Argument

A painting of a woman leaning over appearing to be intertwined with another leg and arm.

This last piece lives up to its title, The Argument. What strikes me about this painting is how we only see one woman’s face, but we notice how she’s intertwined with others. With Pashaei’s work, it seems that there’s always more to examine. There’s a fine line between the way she keeps things simple and complex.

Le SALON 2022 Exhibition

At Snap! Orlando, Sofia Pashaei’s work is currently on exhibition alongside many other local and international artists. The annual gallery showcase will be available for viewing up until August 12, 2022. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see some of the pieces above, as well as the work of other amazing contemporary artists.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Sofia Pashaei as much as I have. It’s not hard to appreciate the beauty of Pashaei’s art. If you want to see another artist who has a distinct style, check out the work of Robert Gunderman. If you’re interested in learning about the expressionistic art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, check out my last post here.