Back Issue__ The Man Behind the Screen: Julian Duron

September 09, 2009 | By

For this month's cover Julian created an original piece for hearty. And we heart it.

Julian Duron, whose art graces this issue of hearty, is not only only an accomplished painter, but also the posterboy for a new generation of visual artists who are using the Internet to bring their work to the next level. By creating a substantial online presence for himself (and others), Julian a Parsons graduate and Brooklyn resident, is now a major player in the North American art community. He tweets, he blogs, he Facebooks, he creates animated giffs and websites. Julian uses every platform available to him as a way of showcasing his work. Not only has he carved out a distinct place for himself online, Julian has helped other artists do the same by contributing to sites like Fecal Face, Vivivi, and Coatails. One might note that his paintings--which bring a still-life's intimacy to a landscapes expansiveness--mirror the intimate artists' communities he has helped bring to the Internet's expanse. But that's pretty cerebral, and we prefer to speak from the heart, so allow us to introduce the man behind the screen: Julian Duron.


From what age did you begin your artistic exploration?

I was in an after school program in elementary school and one of the counselors was this total '80s skater kid. During the Bush Senior/Ducacus showdown he would draw Bush getting eaten by dinosaurs and other comics. He would also draw and carve band logos like Metallica, ACDC and Megadeath on the cafeteria tables. In second grade I would sneak over and trace the drawings. I felt so rebellious.

Why did you choose to study art? How did this contribute to your style today?

I started officially studying art at Seattle Central Community College. A recruiter from Parsons came to my final show and permanent installation in the foyer gallery. He approached me and asked if I was interested in applying to Parsons. Later down the line I ended up applying to a bunch of schools just to see what I came up with and ended up forwarding the application for Parsons directly to that guy. He called me back a week later to offer me a nearly full scholarship. As for school influencing my style, inspiration comes from good instructors and quality curriculum. The staff at Parsons is top notch. Most of them are hip to the gallery scene and have all been working in New York for decades. Some are even ‘famous’. They help me link up with industry heads and publications that I would probably not get the opportunity to correspond with flying solo. The instructors don’t necessarily influence my style, but they definitely challenge me to “take it to the next level” and that challenge makes it more interesting to me. Just like anything else I take the advice and criticism with a grain of salt. Networking is the best thing about school, and the closest artists friends I have made are instructors. As a result some awesome people have come to visit my studio to talk about my work.

How would you describe your painting style?

Landscape, say hello to Still Life. Still life, say hello to Landscape. Now shake hands.

What and where was the last really good slice of pizza you had?

I’m actually in a pizza gang called Skid Marks. We get together when I’m down in Austin and go to all the pizza buffets in town to fill up large duffel bags full of pizza. Then we get bands to play, invite a bunch of people and feed everyone with the pizza we ‘found.’ It’s not the best pizza, but it’s the best way to enjoy pizza—with friends!

What was something you bought that was ridiculously expensive that you regret buying?

After sitting here for ten minutes trying to think of something I’ve concluded that everything expensive I own was definitely worth the investment (i.e. air conditioning, computer, video camera, iPhone etc.).

You say your paintings represent what you see in ‘your mind's eye.’ Is there a specific process you follow, or is it different every time?

Making art is meditation. When I start a new painting or project I look at my notes or sketch and execute the task utilizing as much freeform or improvised thought as possible. This meditation allows me to incorporate other thoughts and feelings into my work (minds-eye) and the product usually satisfies me enough to keep going. Music, film, fellow artists and my environment also serve an important role in my creative process. I believe connecting with other artists and opening up a dialogue about our work is very important in general. It has been very helpful in my practice.

Worst date ever?

Arguing out loud at Applebees in Brooklyn. Major faux pas in case you guys didn’t know.

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