Image of artwork titled "Men" by Julia Maiuri
Image of artwork titled "Men" by Julia Maiuri
Image of artwork titled "Men" by Julia Maiuri

Julia Maiuri, Men, 2023
Oil on canvas
11 × 14 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.

‘Men’ recombines stills from the 1953 noir thriller The Hitch-Hiker – the only classic period film noir to be directed and co-written by a woman, Ida Lupino. The film centers around two average men whose road trip takes a sinister turn after a hitch-hiker they pick up reveals himself to be a serial-murderer. Here, viewership is complicated as subjective and objective points of view converge on one another – hands hold a mugshot as the face of a reclining man emerges forward, staring intently at the murderous hitcher off-screen. This painting brings together two different points of the plot to embody the overwhelmingly fatalistic mood of the film, and underlines Lupino’s enduring questions around constructions of masculinity and American capitalist disillusionment.



Email: [email protected]