ABOUT THE WORK
"I have seen many paintings being born. In the living room that was sometimes a writing studio but never without easels and an empty canvas.
Horses and ships, cathedrals with and without seagulls, fishes, an African drinking place (my favorite by the way!), Chinese art, several girlfriends and ex-girlfriends, majestic farm horses that walk out of their frame, sleeping people and cows, inspired musicians and hypnotic portraits.
Nothing is what it seems...
Each work takes you into a triple bottom where an interpretation can be your own vision or vice versa. There is an explanation for every work, probably, but the vital palette of colors and the monumentality of some details alone drag you into the universe of Julia herself.
It is not given to many artists to create their own universe. People quickly have an opinion about art : “aaaah, that looks like…” or “there is an influence of…noticeable”.
I don't agree with that regarding Julia’s paintings.
There were no open art books, no internet prints or other interference sources at our house, which was Julia's work biotope. Anything and everything comes from her own mind…
If I have to cite references, then I put on my boots and dig in the clay, in the clay of the polders and of the Flemish countryside.
The sky, the mud, the unruly waterways - especially the Scheldt, the sky full of pregnant clouds, rain and sun. What people describe as the Flemish expressionists… Permeke, De Smet, Servaes, Brusselmans but then in an updated version.
Authentic and figurative, but with a color pallet from a surrealistic underworld. Painted with red and yellow and bright green clay.
I am also very privileged. Bbecause I did see the unexhibited works, the forgotten - and disappeared - fights with the canvas. Destroyed in a fire in the garden, painted over by new opportunities or simply given away - to Guido's (the husband) frustration sometimes - to someone who needed it.
I remember a monumental bouquet of daisies still glued to the inside of my memory. Or the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse galloping over each other.
For years I have been walking around on exhibitions or in galleries and museums, dragging the children against their will - nowadays even with permission - abroad to show:
• how humans can create or invent;
• how much potential art and creativity have to offer;
• what we need to survive in this neo-liberal copy of Dante's underworld.
Take a good look around on this website and you will see what it really takes…"
(c) Jef Staes