Julie Heffernan

Self Portrait as Catastrophic Failure Oil on canvas 68″ x 68″ 2013     Self Portrait as After Party Oil on canvas 74″ x 68″ 2013     Self Portrait as Millenium Burial Mound Oil on canvas 68″ x 80″ 2012     Self Portrait with Cargo Oil on canvas 68″ x 66″ 2014     Self Portrait as Tree House Oil on canvas 64″ x 60″ 2011     Interview with JULIE HEFFERNAN: Your childhood ambition: To be a nun. Later on, as the visionary counterpart of that early wish, I fell in love with El Greco’s painting Fra Paravicino, which is a meditation on interiority: all the meaning in the painting is parsed through shapes of black and white and where they locate in the composition, dividing his body up and creating zones of binaries—up/down, sky/earth, heaven/hell and even male/female, suggesting a proto-Jungian self, the uniting of opposites. Something you treasure: There’s a tree in Prospect Park, Brooklyn that has a knothole that looks like a gargoyle of marbleized, aggregate stone shaped into a gorgeous lump that I pass everyday when I take my morning walk. Your worst habit: Probably my lack of driving etiquette: the only way I can justify spending long hours on my couch, staring at whatever painting I’m currently working on is by moving full tilt through the rest of my life, and sitting in a car is the last way I want to spend my life. The aspect of your work that’s most important to you: Seeing more and more deeply within. Making paintings allows me to spend an inordinate amount of time introspecting, looking around in my psyche for imagery and particularities that I might want to see outside of myself. It’s a huge indulgence, I know; but there’s a rich world inside each of us and I want to experience more of it. Your first job: Turning wine bottles for hours on the bottling line at Almaden Vineyards so their labels faced outwards. I met a small man there at the factory who showed me the drawing from the Little Prince of the elephant inside a boa constrictor, and asked me what I thought it was. Like the prince, I thought it was a hat, which tells me now how unimaginative I had become in that job. Someone whose work you highly recommend: The early work of Robert Greene. I saw his paintings at Robert Miller Gallery in the early 90s and found his fraught, obsessive brushwork depicting wide lawns and mad trees wildly interesting. He was working in a mode that anticipated Doig, Bas and others; then he disappeared and now he’s painting grid-based abstractions. To me that’s a loss.     See more of Julie Heffernan’s work here.