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Artist Bio

Julie Fortney was born in Fairfax, Virginia. She currently resides and works in Warrenton, Virginia. Her primary mediums are charcoal, pastel, paint, ink, and ceramic and her work deals with controversial and opposing themes in modern society. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts with a concentration in Studio Art, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a minor in Art History in May of 2016 from Christopher Newport University. She hopes to attend graduate school next year and become a certified art therapist.

Artist Statements

My series entitled Vagabond can be viewed in my 2D and sculpture galleries above. This work explores self-discovery through combinations of societal concepts traditionally considered opposites. Juxtaposition and contrast are common themes in my work. I hope for my pieces in this series to be relatable to a wide variety of people by subject, human form, and composition. I work in a variety of mediums because I feel that my work is best represented in different textures, saturations, and forms. I really enjoy this concept because everyone has aspects of their personality that are contrasting in some way. Finding nuance, I feel, is a major part of self-discovery. My pieces are meant inspire self-exploration and challenge your personal views.

Another series I completed entitled Newfangled, seen in the copper gallery above, explores small intimate portraits of people that are close to me. I wanted to revisit a forgotten method of oil painting on copper. I thought of these as a sort of portable image of a person somewhat like a cameo or a wallet photo. The sepia tone of the portraits give them an antique quality and contrast the shiny colorful copper underneath. Each portrait, like the people who inspired them, is unique and non-duplicable. The patina on the copper, which is made with a blowtorch, creates a randomness to the works, and contributes to the overall beauty of these pieces. 

My work at the Luminous Bodies residency at Artscape, Toronto Island, entitled Emblems revolved around fetishes, specifically ones involving pain or BDSM. Half of the images produced focused on the marks left on the body by these sexual practices. These images were dark and full of focus, contrast, and color. The other images were simple nude sketches in ink, fuzzy and nondescript. These were meant to portray a traditional sense of sexuality wherein the nude body itself is seen as sexual.  The darker images however showed the results of unusual sexual practices and brought them forward into the light, displaying a more specific arousal. The end result was an installation. A gauzy fabric hallway was constructed where the viewer walked through the lighter, blurry images of the body. The viewer then entered the 'dark room' where a strobe light revealed the more taboo images, the results of unconventional sexual practices. I don't claim to be an expert on these practices but I hope that my exhibition sparked a discussion in its' viewers about different kinds of sexual preferences in consenting adults. Pictures of specific works and of the installation itself can be found in the gallery above.