Bio: Julie Sutherland received her Bachelor's degree in Studio Art and Art History from Mills College in Oakland, CA. She shows her work regionally in the San Francisco Bay Area, most recently at Root Division, The National Queer Arts Festival and Mama Calizo's Voice Factory. She recently completed a residency at the Vermont Studio Center and has an upcoming fellowship at the Santa Fe Art Institute.
Taken out of historical context, chronoloy, and gender, the Union series of paintings combine portraits of US Presidents and First Ladies into larger-than-life historical portraits. I start with the official government images taken from the Library of Congress and combine the First Ladies’ face with the President’s hair and wardrobe, creating a dandy or drag-like figure. Then, the portraits take their own direction, developing further through my own artistic inclinations. Most of the portraits have a finished/unfinished quality (ala Gilbert Stuart’s famous unfinished portrait of George Washington), and this, along with the combination of other binaries (such as male/female, original/copy, historic/contemporary, fact/fiction) consider and then mix-up issues of history and power in the United States.