Public Republic random header image

Artist of the Week – Julie Kaye

August 30, 2010 by · 7 comments

Interview with the visual artist Julie Kaye by Aneliya Angelcheva

Julie Kaye

Julie Kaye was born in Leeds, United Kingdom. She received her BA at Leeds college of Art. Since her emergence in 2008 Julie Kaye has blended the concerns and methods of Pop and Conceptual art. Evolving new techniques of expressive popular culture to create her own unique style, often extreme and always engaging. Her work explores contemporary obsessions with sex, desire, race, gender, politics, religion, celebrity, fame, mythology and human condition.

Since her debut in 2008, Kayes’ work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Recent shows include the Edge of Love Berlin (2010), the DeerBLNproject, Berlin (2010), Hatch museum. Berlin (2009) ; Proud. Berlin (2009) Second commerce. SL (2009-2010).; Art of War. New York (2008).

Her website offers detailed information about her and her artworks. It also includes behind-the-scene information and biographical material.

Where did the passion for painting came from?

Praise. I was a very shy child but always got a lot attention for my artwork. So I associated feeling good with art from a very early age. It is at the very core of my self worth, spirituality, emotions and desires. The passion and reward for the dedication to it has grown into an obsession for which I’m very grateful.

Your art is stunning – the style, the colours, the shading. What influence you most?

Thank you.

The world exists comfortably and uncomfortably numb, half awake and half asleep. It is these opposing forces that constantly influence my work and me.

confession-guns without sounds by Julie Kaye

I am at odds with realism and surrealism, so I incorporate both in every piece. The realism is defined in detail from the life that we know to be true which exists in science, human nature and nature itself. It’s the world we see, hear and experience with our body. So in my work you will see this as detailed shading, photography and recognizable elements. Where as the surrealism if allowed to flow out spontaneously, is formed in the imagination, and remains the unique property of an undefined source. It is the aspects of life that does not exist in science or nature but still procures to be there in a universe unexplained. It’s the world we see, hear and experience with our mind, imagination and emotions whether that is in an unconscious state or otherwise. So in my work, the surreal exists in the outlines, the shapes that are not present in nature or invention but only in my imagination. My compositions on the whole are of a surreal nature.

the mourning palace

Cologne, Berlin, New York. These are cities you have conducted exhibitions. Tell me more about them.

Well I have a big soft spot for Berlin; it is a raw and buzzing city with the most creative community I think in the world right now. The people there are very generous, creative and kind. Considering the recent history that was endured there I fail to see how anyone could not be moved by its past and present.

New York is a wild animal. It’s a little scary but completely fascinating and powerful. What I found with the artists there was a vibrant intense energy and sense of celebrity.


What is “Second commerce”?

Second commerce is best explained here and is run by Michael Schumann. Michael was instrumental in introducing my work to a wider international audience and giving me the confidence to take my art career to another level.

desire - guns without sounds by Julie Kaye

What stands behind the international success you have?

I constantly meet the most supportive, proactive and influential people in places like,,, Second Life, Facebook, Twitter and so on and so on. So to sum up what stands behind the international success……. it is self promotion and like minded friends I meet through social networking online and the fact that I will drop everything at a moments notice to get on a plane to a foreign country when an opportunity presents itself…. no ifs, no buts. Travelling to strange and new places excites me.

fallen by julie kaye

Have you ever had to sacrifice something in the name of your art?


Your artworks display diverse topics of everyday life. Is this your source of inspiration?

Yes very much so. Books are a great source of inspiration for me as well. Also increasingly visions and dreams I have too.

Navigator by Julie Kaye

What gives you strength to move forward?

I get strength from always having the desire to bring creative thought to life, inspiration from my situations in life whether they are good or bad. It’s borderline madness when you consider I could have had an easier life if I had just conformed to the ‘norm’. I have a tenacious spirit.

Ponderosa bird song by Julie Kaye

You mix different styles and the result is incredible. Do you implement a kind of message in your artworks?

Thank you.

It is important to me personally as an artist that I have something to say even if it remains unheard, so there is always one message or many messages. I try not to point them out or explain them unless I am pushed to do so. In the moment that anyone looks at a piece of art, even in passing, they and only they can interpret what they see and feel.

evolution duel by julie kaye

Your talent creates unique works with beauty woven into them. Do you have a specific piece of art that is your favourite?

Reverence (the badger and the deer). This piece was a turning point for me and really cemented this new way of working and the direction I intended to go in. It was also part in reference to a friendship I had begun with another artist, David Foox ( who I greatly admire. It was part of the DeerBLNproject exhibition shown in the Strychnin gallery Berlin, which was curated by another artist I have a lot of respect for, Christian Rothenhagen (

What do you plan for the future? Should be expecting new exhibitions or new art events?

Yes. This year I have a solo show in November, collaboration with David Foox in NYC and the realization of my Carpisa project in October. Hopefully I will be a part of the DHL Hatch sticker museum project too before the year is out. Early next year I’ll be part of Loulou Bontemps boutique show in London fashion week, I am doing a talk on my art in Berlin in February and have another solo exhibition in planning stages for May. It’s all good.

Reverence by Julie Kaye

Creative and inspiring – that’s how I define your art. Define it for yourself.

That is the greatest compliment to have my work defined that way. Thank you.

However if I were to define it, it would go something more along the lines of ‘The imaginative musings of a slightly sane mad woman!’

Related posts ↓

7 comments so far ↓

  • Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!