Julianna Fomenko

Desert Hieroglyph

Picture 1 of 7

Artist     |    Website


Paper works

When it comes to making art, I enjoy breaking rules, and I’ve found that working with paper is particularly liberating in this rule-breaking category. Often, my process will start as a double-dare in thought: What if I wait for the acrylic to partially dry and then add really wet watercolor and let the two mingle? What if I add a dissolved vitamin to that too pink pink? What if I use these metal-carving tools to etch into the semi-dried paint layers to get a partway glimpse of the original mark that was hidden, now partly seen? These thoughts realized in action create a rhythm in experimentation, and a new rule of my own is born: stop the process when the most novel, most unexpected outcome is revealed.

The paper works presented at Art Basel, Miami represent a time of deep experimentation during my artist residency with Starry Night Programs in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Found plant materials added dimension to each piece and the hot desert sun shortened drying times, as I layered watercolor and acrylic, scraped away with carving tools and layered again. Fluorescent colored, plastic pool toys found at the local dollar store were cut and collaged into several works. I went for swims at the local municipal pool and ventured to a Tibetan Buddhist temple in town, meeting other artists and seekers. My works attempt to capture the contrasting beauty and hardships of daily life in the area: a sky of constant change in color and mood, a mountain range evolving in shadow at the mercy of the sun, and in the foreground, sometimes overlooked because of such a giant sky, the truth, scraped away between the worn trailers and cacti.

Canvas works

My work on canvas explores the relationships among colors and the unanticipated forms that emerge from their interaction. Color leads me to investigate shape and texture and engage with the playfulness and depth of those elements.

Using acrylic as a base layer and oil stick to the top layer, allowing for the gloss and thickness of the oil paint to contrast with the flatter, smoother acrylic layer, I attempt to bring forth movement and balance of color and texture. What starts out as my instinct to create harmony between color, shape and texture becomes an abstract landscape, an emotion embedded within the painting itself.