Image of artwork titled "Sleep" by Julia Maiuri

Julia Maiuri, Sleep, 2022
Oil on canvas
4 × 6 inches

Julia Maiuri’s oil paintings recast depictions of the ordinary into premonitions of the unknown. Desaturated hues and selective colours transport her works out of the real and into a dreamscape, an adjacent plane. By layering, superimposing, cropping and reversing images sourced primarily from suspense and horror films, Maiuri imbues her works with a lingering sense of uncertainty, seizing the viewer in a moment that is neither here nor there, but exactly in-between, and governed by a new, surreal logic; when viewed together, her paintings function like a dream sequence, a disjointed narrative that doesn’t quite hold.

In ‘Sleep’, Maiuri superimposes three female figures in paint, creating a multiple exposure effect derived from film. Rendered in paint, she writes, the layering technique ‘complicates the direction of time and permanence of place’; permanent states of identity and (un)consciousness are equally dissolved into a plurality, inviting a sense of profound uncertainty. Characteristically, the small scale of ‘Sleep’ tows the line between intimacy and confinement, and invites a questioning of what we cannot see or understand; the work’s setting, a surreal, alternative and mystifying realm, is reaffirmed.



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