Julie Heffernan

Self Portrait as Catastrophic Failure
Oil on canvas
68″ x 68″



Self Portrait as After Party
Oil on canvas
74″ x 68″



Self Portrait as Millenium Burial Mound
Oil on canvas
68″ x 80″



Self Portrait with Cargo
Oil on canvas
68″ x 66″



Self Portrait as Tree House
Oil on canvas
64″ x 60″



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.