Julie Heffernan "Pre-Occupations" @ Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City
Mark Moore Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Julie Heffernan (who has been featured in Juxtapoz in the past), the artist’s third solo show at the gallery. Continuing what has become a hallmark series of self-portraits, Heffernan has developed a unique and fertile visual lexicon, which deftly combines themes of the personal with the political, the universal with the individual, and the familiar with the fantastical. The show runs through June 13, 2015.
At the heart of the work is a palpable, grave concern for the environment. Issues of climate change, overpopulation and ecological imbalance are presented in highly ornate, dreamlike tableaux, rife with symbolism and allegorical implication. Although Heffernan’s compositions carry a clear reverence for the style and tradition of historical narrative painting, her imagery is not tethered to a specific genre, period or ideology, but rather blossoms directly from the imagination, expounding on Surrealism’s notion of the subconscious as the architect of reality.
Despite their sobering subject matter, Heffernan’s works are empowered by a sense of cautious optimism, wherein social critique is not the endgame. Rather than focusing solely on the causes and symptoms of our global maladies, Heffernan’s canvases are alive with possibility, imagining creative ways in which we might prevail over our own undoing. The artist states: “The work is a continuation of my interest in climate change and the kinds of changes we are going to have to consider in order to deal with some of its eventualities - perhaps an opportunity for some creativity in how we approach habitats and lifestyles. No more room for wastefulness, but what do we decide to keep and what to get rid of? The figures are now engaged in work of some sort: pulling, dragging, wrestling with materials in order to start the work of change."
Here is her awesome portrait shot by Bryan Derballa back in 2012 for Juxtapoz...