At the same time, however, it would be rather gauche of us to paint Julia Freund as an artist with a social agenda, given that the overall feel of her gallery is more joyful than jarring, far more suffused with delightful ideas than stained with dogmatic assumptions. In fact, the variety of art is so remarkable that in turning from the highly developed style of Make Words Grow to the simple, child-friendly approach of something like A Slightly Melancholy Bear, one wonders if we’re even dealing with the same artist. But don’t take it from us, not when Freund’s wonderful gallery is right there for the browsing. And while you’re enjoying her work—which by the way, is always sent printed on actual canvas for you purists—you can also enjoy the giveaway the artist is offering to our Wishing Willow readers, one of the most generous giveaways in our history. Two winners each will receive a print of choice, with three additional winners each receiving The Princess and Her Frog pinback button set. To enter, visit lineanongrata.etsy.com, then come back here to tell us about your favorite item or print in Julia's shop. Tell us in an additional post if you subscribe to Wishing Willow, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. To post without a Google account, just click “anonymous.” Be sure to also leave your email address. Contest ends 2/17/09. We have our winners. Congrats Guettel178, Sarah, Leah, Janil and Meninheira!
Monday, February 9, 2009
If we as would-be art critics have a tendency to reach for Picasso when trying to characterize an artist whose stylings lean a little cubist, it’s meant as the ultimate compliment, rather than a commentary on the artist’s lack of originality. Julia Freund is a great example. An immensely talented German-born abstract artist living in France, Freund at times renders a disjointed, collage-style composition that captures the mechanics of Picasso’s macabre social studies, but in spirit, she and the melancholy master are worlds apart. Unlike the disturbingly detached subjects of his Blue Period, her subjects, typified in So Many Strange People, are fleshy and visceral, knowable, suspended in space yet somehow full of life and thought. Even her inanimate subjects, such as the massive edifice in Babylon that rises above the jumbled city like a great kiosk plastered in Parisian newspaper, breathe out the lingua of possibilities, of conviction, even of truth, the latter of which Picasso famously denied was even possible in art.