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Julia Elsas
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Gowanus

ARTIST STATEMENT: As a mixed-media artist, I am continually moving between concepts, materials, and processes such as sewing, printmaking, sculpture, and collage-making. Much of my two- and three-dimensional work involves the use of textiles. I am particularly interested in fabrics that are traditionally used in and associated with women’s intimate apparel, because I see them as suggestive of the tension between the revealed and the concealed in acts of courtship, flirtation, and sensuality. In my most recent monoprint and collage series, I am exploring the physical, aesthetic, and conceptual ramifications of overlaying industrial elastic and nylon material onto the two-dimensional plane of my monoprints. I have previously used these same materials in a series of sculptural works. I begin by cutting apart pantyhose, knee-highs, and strips of lingerie elastic, which I subsequently reassemble into new forms. These forms retain different degrees of resemblance to the original shape of these feminine articles. I then saturate my new forms with ink, lay them onto a sheet of wet paper washed with a different color ink, and make a print. For my monoprints, I pull three to four prints from each textile-paper combination, exploring the visual effects of the gradual wearing away of the ink with each successive print and their concomitant interpretive possibilities. For my collages, I draw upon the monoprints that I consider experiments rather than finished works. I isolate the images from these monoprints by cutting them out of the larger prints. I then collage these gathered images onto large sheets of white paper to create abstract compositions with semi-recognizable parts, which, upon closer examination, may evoke the detritus of a rapid disrobing or a striptease. Both my monoprint and collage series are parts of a larger body of work that has been occupying me for the last four years, in which I examine voyeurism, tension, body language, and mimicry in social interaction.

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