|"Fighting Ring" 5'x5' oil and gouache on canvas 2010|
|"Not Enough Room For Two" 20x26" Gouache, pencil, and paper cutouts on yupo paper|
|"Prosthetics" 48x36" Gouache, pencil, and paper cutouts on canvas|
|Rated R, 14"x14" gouache on canvas 2011|
|"There's always a dominant and a submissive" 16" x 16" gouache and paper cutouts on canvas|
Julienne Hsu's work evolves around dogs, but her work is not your typical pet obsessed adoration. Much of it stems from her research into and observations of the world of dog-fighting. On one level it can't help be anything but a visceral reaction to the brutality of the enterprise. But her work is also fairly abstract, drawing from a variety of mid to late twentieth century art. These influences put the viewer at a more objective distance, as if to remark on the peculiar and ultimately mysterious relation between mankind and their so-called best friends. At times the wild distortions of the animals could be viewed as reflecting the wild distortions of the animal's own instincts, how their natural aggression and hierarchical behavior is subsumed into the absolute obedience to their master/trainer. But ultimately what she shows is a creature whose true existence can be utilized or manipulated but never really and fully understood. The inner life of any animal is ultimately alien, our understanding of them always partial, fractured, distorted and incomplete, like the images above.
You can see more of her work on her website juliennehsu.com. Her artist statement is actually worth reading (a rare thing) and gives an insightful account of her intentions, techniques and resources.
Also congratulations to Ms. Hsu on being include in New American Paintings 97