Cassandra Sohn is a fine art and freelance photographer in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Sohn owns, and is the Director of, Sohn Fine Art in Lenox, MA. Sohn runs all departments of the company and is the founder of the Master Artist Series program, which offers unique experiences with artists in the top of their fields to patrons and collectors of photography, as well as professional and aspiring photographers and artists through exhibitions, lectures and workshops. Sohn exhibits world-wide and freelances for editorial and commercial clients, as well as weddings and portraits. She has been published in several books, and was the main contributing photographer for Window on the Park—New York's Most Prestigious Properties On Central Park, published by Images Publishing. She graduated from the New School in Manhattan with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Photography. Sohn teaches photography through her company's education program, as well as at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires and Berkshire Community College.
Classically trained in the arts from an early age, Sohn experimented with many mediums and discovered her passion for photography in her early twenties. Her fine artwork is usually of the natural world and her images nod to abstraction,
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with sensual and contemplative components. Most have a painterly feeling and some are unique mixed medias with pastel and pencil handwork. Growing up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and now calling the Berkshires in western Massachusetts home, Sohn has a strong connection to the mountains, but has always been drawn to water, which is a recurring theme in her work. Fascinated by its ever-moving, ever-changing nature, Sohn is captivated by water’s capacity to elicit inquisitiveness, stillness and strength. Like our emotions, its form is always affected by its surrounding environments, both inner and outer. It is both a mirror and a vessel of depth and can alter our perceptions of the “real”. Scientists have referred to having contact with the ocean as “blue space” which provokes feelings of peace and calmness. That “blue space” actually changes the way your brain reacts to its environment. It is said that it triggers your mind like meditation, allowing you to tune everything else out and reflect on what you need to focus on.
Even when Sohn felt landlocked in the mountains she found her sea voice. In 2012, she released a body of work “A Sea Feeling in the Mountains” motivated by 19th century artists and writers who found inspiration in the Berkshire region and its visual and metaphorical connection to the sea. Sohn followed in the footsteps of Melville, Hawthorne and Thoreau (amongst others) by hiking the same paths, visiting their homes, and studying their works, photographing each environment with the pursuit of a larger meaning and interpretation in her own work. In much of this work there are elements of struggle, darkness, questions of humanity and identity, and searches for meaning.
Sohn’s most recent body of work “Water” returns to the ocean and was photographed in Antigua, Mexico, Long Island and Fire Island, NY. With multiple, layered, long exposures done in-camera, the photographs are ethereal and dreamlike, abstracting our sense of place and questioning the edge between the real and unreal. Some pieces are jovial and light with clouds floating in water and impressionistic objects and figures, while others are dark and torrent, channeling Dutch seascapes from the 1600s. Although the movement in the images can feel “chaotic” or “turbulent”, they are also inherently peaceful. This juxtaposition creates a complex image that toys with our emotions. In this series Sohn returns to her classical training as many of the photographs are
hand-worked with pastel.