American Contemporary Painter Julie Heffernan
Heffernan attended University of California, Santa Cruz where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in both painting and printmaking. She went on to attend Yale School of Fine Art where she earned her Master of Fine Arts. Today, Julie works at Montclair State University where she is a professor of Fine Arts and Co-founder of the journal Painters on Paintings. She currently resides and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Julie Heffernan is an American painter whose artwork has been described by the writer Rebecca Solnit as “a new kind of history painting” and by The New Yorker as “ironic rococo surrealism with a social-satirical twist.” Portraiture is a dominant subject in Heffernan’s painting, even while she also reflects on environmental, (art) historical, feminist, literary, social, and political subjects. Akin to Magical Realism, Julie Heffernan’s lush self-portraiture utilizes a myriad of art historical references to present a sensual interior narrative, a self-allegory whose half- hidden political agenda is the literal background of the paintings. The 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.