Paris, France, 1982
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Julie Curtiss (b. 1982) is a French-Vietnamese artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Curtiss’s attractive and powerful visual style draws on a history of figurative traditions that include 18th- and 19th-century French paintings, as well as the Chicago Imagists and the ‘pop’ imagery of comic books, manga, and illustration. Curtiss’s artwork features a wide range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, and prints. She applies different treatments and textures, finely mixed in precise strokes of flat planes of vivid colors to achieve a surreal effect. Her subject matter centers on the female body. By deconstructing and fragmenting details, she explores themes that emerge from surrealist elements of modern life and creates abnormal situations. For instance, in her food-based images, Curtiss presents objects that are simultaneously seductive and repulsive, showing traditional food subjects that upon closer look uncover symbols of stereotyped ‘femininity’ such as long nails, flowing hair or high heels. Curtiss has stated that she likes to associate “humor with darkness, the uncanny and the mundane, grotesque shapes to vivid colors.” Her faceless female figures are also a recurrent aspect in her work along with her ‘Magritte-esque substitutions’ that disrupt female archetypes becoming a sensation in the art world.
Her work has been acquired by prominent museum collections such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum, and the Walker Art Center. Curtiss received her BA and MFA from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France.