Review of Julie Janicek’s website, JulieJanicek.com, by Reid Dodson.
Art is creation, and Julie Janicek understands this, she is an artist, and therefore a creator. She seriously explores what it means to make art, what it means to create. This is evident in her sculptures, which are strong formally, but the apparent struggle, and earnestness with which Julie engages it, make her sculptures enriching and engaging.
Julie’s approach to sculpture is pared down, respectful of basic shapes, which compose objects, and ultimately their interaction with each other. She is not overly concerned with creating something shiny, smooth, or desirable to possess, yet she directs herself to the more interesting raw question of relations between materials, shapes, weight, implied histories, and the human psyche.
The drawings, which are the foundation for Julie’s sculptures, reference architectural drafting, the celestial, and the deep recesses of the Human mind. They contain implosions, canyons, sunsets, and the birth of creation, of beauty, of art. Julie’s drawings then go through a physical altercation, which results in them getting burned, stained, and torn. This struggle, which Julie instigates, is substantial, temporal, part of the passage to the creation of her sculptures and ultimately her growth as an artist.
The precarious sculptures, which she refers aptly to as “Material”, were created in a world that is dark and destroyed, where things are discarded as a result of old modes of operation ceasing to exist. It is a world where the shiny and cute are in the past, yet their remnants remain, which Julie forms into utilitarian objects, to be used to sustain the basic necessities of life, including self expression. Although the landscape has changed there is still life in this world, it is a small, new, and timid life. Julie only grants her material a sort lifespan; just as her material is learning to walk she interrupts it, yet the insight she gains from its small life is substantial, and evident in her work. Julie’s sculpture and drawing are formally strong and conceptually interesting.