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Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 22.1 (2001) 145-149

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Dom; The New Mrs.; She Shaves; Dead Candidate

Julie Green

I wanted to be a stewardess until age four, and then I wanted to be an artist. Born in Japan, I moved to the United States with my family, first to the West Coast, then the East Coast, finally settling in the Midwest. I lived in fifteen states, all suburban areas, until I left home. Contact with nature was limited. Our only family pet was a guppy in 1970.

My undergraduate degree is in design. At twenty-three, I quit my job as a designer for Time/Life Incorporated at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Bidding farewell to high heels and the office with a red leather couch on the thirty-third floor, I began to teach myself to paint. I had two undergraduate painting classes behind me and all the museums in New York at my reach. I fit into that group called alternative artists, which is to say I did not follow the art school path in a traditional manner.

These days, rural land and its inhabitants are of great importance to me. Recent work is small in scale, tempera on masonite, and it depicts more than our own species. The figure, be it human or animal, is a continual source of fascination. Dogs and birds appear and reappear in the work. In the past ten years, the work has been influenced by where I've lived--Oklahoma, Kansas, Japan, and New York City. I am driven by that situation which is revealing, mysterious, and ephemeral. There is a word in the Japanese language, kehai, which means the feeling that something has just happened or is about to occur--a footstep, a whiff, a stirring. I attempt to make a lasting image out of kehai--the fleeting moment.

She Shaves is inspired by watching an Asian friend shave her face so that her makeup applies smoothly. The New Mrs. is a reaction to seeing a woman hold up her wedding gown. I was struck by the shape of the gown, as well as by what the white gown often stands for in our culture--femininity, womanhood, a rite of passage. I work without models or photographic references because of a fascination with memory; specifically, that which we choose to remember and that which we choose to forget. The alterations of memory give some of the paintings a dream-like quality, though dreams are rarely used as subject matter. Personal phenomenology and kehai are driving forces in my work. [End Page 145]


Dom, 1999, tempera and lipstick on panel, 12" x 24". [End Page 146]


The New Mrs., 1998, tempera on panel, 12" x 24". [End Page 147]


She Shaves, 1998, tempera on panel, 12" x 24". [End Page 148]


Dead Candidate, 1998, tempera on panel, 13" x 9".

Julie Green is an assistant professor of painting and drawing at Oregon State University. She received a M.F.A. in painting from the University of Kansas. Recent solo exhibitions include "Requiescat" at the University of Liverpool Art Museum and "Yoklahoma," a tempura painting, installation, and video projection project at Living Arts Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Copyright © 2001 by Julie Green



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