We were so lucky to have Brooklyn based artist Julie Heffernan speak with us Sunday at New Museum Los Gatos in conjunction with their current exhibition, More Than Your Selfie.
Included in this exhibit is her oil painting, Self Portrait with Falling Sky. As with many of Julie Heffernan’s paintings, she uses the self portrait as a vehicle to explore her relationship with outer and inner worlds in magical settings of fantastic gardens, wild jungles and gilded palaces – all bursting into flame or blossom or fruit, laced with a secret language of survival and hope held in a tenuous, transcendent balance.
NUMU curator Marianne McGrath with artist Julie Heffernan. It was all about the redheads – in the historic images, in the paintings, and in the audience!
Julie Heffernan’s talk and slide show introduced us to her early art influences that broke through her suburban Ozzie and Harriet style upbringing on the West Coast – passionate Catholic hagiography and hippy hedonism in Golden Gate park, then onto German figural renaissance with her Fullbright scholarship in West Berlin. While in Europe she was exposed to the likes of Velázquez, Fantin-Latour and Bosch to name but a few and so began her lush still lifes as self portraits, traditional still lifes with contemporary flourishes and mind bubbles. These grew into the monumental, surreal follies, and the epic dystpoias of today which have been fueled by both personal and global events.
These are but a few glimpses into the slide show that accompanied the talk but a visit to Julie Heffernan’s website is order – also a visit to NUMU and to Mark Zukerberg’s house if you get the chance! The artist also recommends checking out Elizabeth Kolbert on the environment, Elizabeth Gilbert on creative creative imps the TV series Black Mirror!