Julie Curtiss: an artist leading the neo-surrealism movement
Born in Paris, Julie Curtiss is a Brooklyn based artist. Her surrealist art draws us into a surprising and strange world.
She explores femininity by focusing on the female body and the connection of the body with nature, culture, the soul. For a long time, women have not been represented in art from a woman's perspective. Julie Curtiss seeks to reclaim the narrative thread around the female body.
"In my images, I enjoy the complementarity of humor and darkness, the strange and the mundane, grotesque shapes and bright colors," she explains.
You can recognize her work through the vivid colors, and through the symbols used as: food, long hair, nails, or faceless bodies.
The nails and the hair, the only parts of the body that grow by themself itself and can be cut without pain, are omnipresent. The nails represent the paradox between the superficial and the animal drive.
The hair reflects the beast in us, our wild and untamed side.
Most of the figures depicted are faceless women. For Julie Curtiss, painting faces makes a subject too personal. The role of a blank or hidden face is to frustrate the viewer and to hint at the inner life of the character. To do this, she slips in clues, and it is up to the viewers to reconstruct the puzzle. According to her, a hidden face indicates the elusiveness of the self.
Psychology and in particular Carl Jung’s idea of archetypes have always influenced her art.
Julie Curtiss represents a new generation of Surrealist painters who set themselves apart from their predecessors. "It seems to me that the Surrealists are more interested in the deconstructive power of the unconscious, whereas I am interested in its constructive power."
Portrait of Julie Curtiss. Photography by Maxim Ryazansky
Paintings by Julie Curtiss. Credits: Julie Curtiss.
Courtesy: Anton Kern Gallery and White Cube Gallery