Bio

I have been making art for as long as I can remember. As a child, I loved to sit in the park, drawing the view before me in my sketchbook. Today, I still love to draw and paint outside, but I also have an artist's studio in SoHo. There is nothing I prefer over being an artist in New York City.

The urban landscape inspires me. My paintings frequently include water towers, fire escapes, street lamps, and other seemingly mundane elements of the NYC infrastructure. While my work may be called representational or realistic, my approach is from a more abstract perspective. The subject of my paintings is not primarily buildings and these other objects, but rather the composition and contrasting elements of light and dark, complementary colors, and negative space.

While I am best known for my images of New York City, I also paint country landscapes and interiors. I have painted New Mexico, Maine, Tuscany, Paris, and many other wonderful places, but my approach is the same as in my NYC work; the central theme is the contrast of light and dark and the negative space within the composition. These paintings are often images that might seem, on the surface, unremarkable, such as an unmade bed or an old country road.

The most elemental beauty can be found in the most mundane of settings. My paintings are my personal experiences. I hope that my work changes the viewers' perceptions of their surroundings. When my friends and collectors tell me how they now notice parts of New York, such as water towers, that they had overlooked before, I feel like I am succeeding.

"Sonya Sklaroff has an eye for New York City. However, each of her stunning pictures only reveal a peek of her vision. Sometimes it is from a street corner we see giant brick structures with only a sliver of sky in view, or from outside a room we see a bed, a chair, a lamp, or back out the window to the street beyond. She makes us wonder-- What happened here? And because it is New York City our imagination runs wild. Sklaroff has managed to capture New York in all of its complex reality from both the outside and the inside of the city.

She is a fine young painter, and smart too. Sklaroff has had a surprising number of exhibitions and has won many awards at a very early age. She is on her way to developing an audience of faithful viewers--Already, I am one of them."


-Faith Ringgold, catalogue introduction for Sonya Sklaroff's solo show, "Recent Paintings - Cityscapes and Interiors", Allen Sheppard Gallery, New York. 

"In her abstract urban studies, Sonya Sklaroff reminds one of John Sloane, driving home the impact of her dark landscapes with bold, incisive brushstrokes.


Her monochromatic New York is not the New York of skyscrapers and bridges but of lowly water towers and blank walls that become in her capable hands almost human portraits. She looks as fondly upon these scenes, such as 4th Avenue Water Towers #2 as Monet did upon Chartres Cathedral."


-Valerie Gladstone, catalogue essay for exhibition, "Second Annual Realism Invitational", Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco.