Julia Silvester(left) THE STAIRCASE, 2019 Oil on Aluminum Panel 35.0 x 45.0 cm
It is when an artist grasps the essence of intimacy that they can affect the energy of a person, allowing the unexperienced to become a moment of reality for a stranger, and levy emotion onto one otherwise unrelatable image. Though frozen, such work can influence the atmosphere of a room no less potently then a film, a song, or a spoken word.
In these metaphysical spaces, the aura reflected back is the rippled, intangible tone of a memory. This is beyond evident in Julia Silvester’s series What Colour Is Nostalgia. In these works, the viewer is presented with three moments familiar, yet distinctly contrasting one another. Compositionally similar to one another, the color, tone, and positioning of the young girls in each piece vary just enough between each image that one feels this transcendent passage of time between them, almost as if the viewer is stuck outside the current of time and witnessing these girls as the seasons shift, leaving the imprint of an emotion and a reminiscence of an image on the canvas.
Julia SilvesterA Reminder, 2019
The most effective of artists infuse the atmosphere of our world with an extraordinary, new universe. A Reminder by Julia Silvester is an example of this, the energy within the image bleeds out of the confines of the canvas and possesses that of a room. The melancholy glance of a person one might know from distant memory is immortalized in the shadowy strokes of the brush. The subject of A Reminder looks to the viewer with all the emotion of an intimate relationship marred by sadness, easily plucking them from reality, dissolving the physical room, and swallowing them into a quiet, shared gaze in the muted bleakness of an early morning or late evening.
This command of created spaces displays Julia Silvester’s manipulation of both the unfamiliar and the familiar in a profound way. In her worlds, the viewer is faced with a deeply familiar reality and yet a space fundamentally unsettling. More than a window on the canvas, Silvester has the ability to make the viewer a part of an unlikely experience. Works like Resting or The Staircase insist upon an informality between the viewer and the subject, engaging them in sinergetic moments impossible between strangers.
Silvester sculpts these private seconds that stray from reality, giving them such a compelling mood that they seem to seep into the ambient energy of a moment. The effect evokes symphonic works by Ryuichi Sakamoto; the haunting grace and eerie experimental energy breaks the listener out of their world and isolates them in bizarre, yet sonically familiar environments. This kindred energy between Silvester's work and Sakamoto is further evident when interacting with their collective bodies of work. Everything created is in conversation with the rest of the artist's creations yet there are pieces that feel of this world and then there are works that feel utterly otherworldly. It is as though all familiarity in experiencing them is a mask over a dark bizarre universe beneath. Like portals to a multiverse or a twilight zone shadow of this reality. In the end the work is like experiencing a profound film that imprints on the soul for much longer then the run time.
Written and Curated by Bianca Valencia Crisucolo
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