Julia Milbrandt

Cleveland Institute of Art
Bachelor of Fine Arts

by | May 31, 2019 | Undergraduate 2019

Artist’s Statement
I live for moments that make me oooh and ah, make my eyes widen in wonder and giggle in excitement. These fantastical visual experiences interrupt our daily lives with a burst of razzle dazzle. Strange shadows created by sunlight as it passes through a space, colorful light inside of a car wash, the way light hits and bounces off reflective surfaces like plastic and glass; these are the moments I am drawn to, ones in which light and color momentarily abstract the world around us and alter our perception. My work documents everyday brilliant experiences, like a glistening wine glass, soap bubbles in the sink, or an oil slick puddle in the parking lot. These moments are ephemeral, changing with their surroundings and time; they are extraordinary in an ordinary way. I want to capture them at their peak, that brief magnificence, pause them in all of their glory.
Using chalk pastel or lithography I render objects that act as artifacts of the fantastic instances I am recording. The objects themselves are often quite cheap and artificial, but the experience they provide is true and wondrous. It is, they are, the glitter on the floor after the party.
Through drawing, I extract and portray these fanciful, magical, visuals from my everyday experience; enticing viewers to take time to pause and appreciate these mini moments of awe. Using bright, vibrant, candy-like colors, and the lure of reflective materials, my work attracts viewers with these characteristics. I depict objects full of intricate, swirling details created by their interaction with light. These small, ethereal moments of beauty are enlarged to a grand scale, creating elaborate compositions full of rich color and intricacies that imply movement and energy on the paper.
As my drawings teeter between abstraction and representation, they can incite curiosity in the viewer. The surface of the chalk or ink, and the subtle traces of my hand become visible upon close inspection. This re-imbues the image with a kind of magic. The magic of making and the magic of seeing. Through this mediation I am able to convey, in some small way, my wonder and pleasure of the original experience.
My drawings flow back and forth between something we may recognize, and something abstract, but in the end, like that wondrous moment, viewers must set aside any sort of logic and reason, and give into the power and brilliance of the image I present.

Instagram: @juliamilbrandt_art
E-mail: milbrandtjulia@gmail.com