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Sketchbook Porn

Sketchbook Porn: Julia Hensley

From expressive urban landscape paintings to invasive installations that take over entire cafes and galleries, Julia Hensley makes you think about space by showing you the enormity of the things that fill it. She does so with a playfulness that has all the insatiable gravity of a black hole. Whether it be a stroke of sunlight against the corner of a building, a star cluster in the heavens or detritus that stuffs a recycle bin (two years ago she commandeered the walls of Joe Bar and plastered them with a constellation of collected teabag wrappers, wine boxes, soy milk cartons and empty prosciutto packets that swirled like one giant, beautiful garbage patch), her knack for breaking large ideas and large bodies of matter into pixel-size packets has a transforming effect. The drawings that fill her sketchbooks reveal a similar train of thought. 

“Aside from ballpoint scribbles next to studio notes in cheap lined notebooks, drawing hasn’t been a direct part of my practice for years,” says Hensley. “I was teaching it every day, but in my own work drawing had long been absorbed into my painting and collage. Then one day in Daniel Smith with a birthday gift certificate, a small Moleskine in this nice long format presented itself.

I had no idea what form my lines would take. I started with the usual square shapes but rapidly branched into curves. I’m always thinking about stars, nebulae, spaceships, cells, organic stuff fused with manmade or alien-made stuff. I call these starmeqs, like mechanique. While I started these as a completely private, open-ended exploration, ultimately they are part of a project I’m building called ‘rdioglxy’ that includes paintings, digital work, sculpture and sound.”

 

 

 

 

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