"Friendly Conversations" Julia Kaiser's Painting Portfolio

Artist Julia Kaiser contacted me to write the text for a "brochure" version of her portfolio. It was so much fun! After interviewing her for several hours in her huge studio in Amsterdam and several talks over the phone, I crystalized her artist statement into this:

My paintings are an investigation of visual vocabularies; a playful exploration of form, color combinations, and patterns that represent a private, abstract language. I do not attempt to decode the symbols, only to find what resonates within me. I love translating digital motifs physically, meticulously reproducing forms by hand, embracing anomalies as imperfect “perfection.”

Rhythm and repetition work meditatively for me, and I am no longer thinking, only looking and feeling. From slow and deliberate to impulsive and fast, I want to capture the vibrancy of motion. The large canvas allows me to express freedom and exuberance, yet my marks and gestures attempt to attain a balance between discipline and play, spontaneity and control.

Figurative elements invade my world for a while and then disappear again, while old-school technical drawings, vintage flora and fauna studies, and bitmapped graphical elements might also contribute to a visual conversation. I am also fascinated by hands and feet. The resulting work is a collision between the geometric and organic, digital and analog, structure and chaos. My palette is bold and opaque, primary and pastel, black and white. I work on paper or linen with East Indian and color ink, acrylic and oil paint, markers and coarse brushes. I start out simple then expand my range as the work develops.

The canvas mirrors and exaggerates my wonder and joy in the power of paint and invites viewers to share in a visceral experience of it. But the paintings must also remain autonomous. They have their own life and personality.



Julia Kaiser was born and raised in the south of Germany. She attended Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar (Saar College of Fine Arts) from 1990-1995 then moved to Amsterdam, where she obtained her MFA in Design and New Media from Sandberg Institute. A self-taught painter, she bridges her professional background and formal training in graphic design with more intuitive, kinesthetic investigations. She transitioned to a full-time studio practice in 2015 and currently creates boldly contrasting large-scale paintings and smaller works on linen and paper. Her work has shown in several exhibitions in Amsterdam.