“No painting genre is as indestructible as the portrait. But portraits have never been as present as in today’s ubiquity of social media, and even less so in their extreme form, the selfie. But what is the self in the era of selfies? Where do the permanent performers of the self, caught in the permanent self-control and in the non-stop competition for manipulated flawless ego brand identity still find security and empathy?
The works of the Munich-based artist Julia von Kienlin revolve around such questions. She finds her subjects - where else - on the self-portrayal stages of Instagram and Co; she prefers to select young, rather contemplative and sometimes introverted characters. She translates their more or less spontaneous iPhone-photos into paintings and drawings. And in this transformation process she succeeds in a magnificent recapture of their respective unique aura. Behind the roles and poses, the masks and attitudes, behind the whole retort aesthetic, the vulnerable selves of personalities with fears, feelings and longings suddenly become visible. Kienlin also stages brightly coloured, ornamental or scenic, associative backgrounds into which she beams the figures, so to speak, so that they seem to merge with them. In this way, she creates immersive spheres of intimacy and security for her protagonists. In the artist`s words: “Painting portraits is a way for me to show my affection.” “
-Dr. Eva Karcher
“Even with undertows of Alice Neel and Nan Goldin, convincing.
Makes me remember spending time in Berlin in the 1990s.”
-Jerry Saltz,Senior Art Critic for New York Magazine
Podcast Monacofieber - „Julia von Kienlin - Kunst und Social Media“:
“So Many Emotions“, BERGSON x Pulpo Gallery, Munich
Edition Paraffin, Streitfeld Projektraum, Munich
„Flowers“, Zederngalerie Landsberg am Lech
„Familiar Strangers“, Vacant Museum, L.A., USA
London Art Festival, London, UK
Scholarship of the Bavarian State
1992 - 1995 Akademie für Grafische Gestaltung, München
Master of Fine Arts in Illustration and Graphic Arts and Design