by Ariadna Zierold
Julie Heffernan‘s dark, Grimm fairy tale-like undercurrent transforms her aristocratic, operatic portraits into a contemporary vanitas or memento mori, acting as both a stylized fantasy and a Bosch-like warning. Her lush self-portraiture utilizes a myriad of art historical references to present a sensual interior narrative, a self-allegory whose half- hidden political agenda is the literal background of the paintings.
Her imaginative landscapes feature such elements as exploding cities, castoff gods and garbage, and falling torrents of animals, meteors and gemstones. These elements reflect her view of the world after “calamities” such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill threaten to make it unlivable.