Julien, b. 1996, is a contemporary painter based out of Portland, ME.
Through an analyzation of their own body, gender identity, and personal philosophy, Julien’s work questions the authority of an aesthetic relationship between gender identity and presentation of self. By using traditional painting methods and drawing on the history of classic portraiture and presentation of the female body, they delve into the belly of society’s need to beautify and decorate the female figure in order for it to be considered as an acceptable form, critiquing this point of view. Julien uses their own experiences being a feminine-presenting genderqueer person to cultivate relationships between color, form, and deco within their work, and critique them in a way that brings light to recognizing gender as a spectrum.
By beautifying the obscurely androgynous figures within their paintings, Julien deals with personal issues concerning their own physical body and how it contradicts their gender identity, as well as confronting their viewers with an image that will force them to consider the relevance of femininity in association to gender and personal presentation.