Julie Nellenback Henry/ contemporary multi media artist
Currently working on: oil paintings, mixed media collage paintings on paper, leather wall hangings, assemblage sculpture and paper constructions
Other artistic pursuits: printmaking, letterpress, leather jewelry
Earliest influences: Sharon Merrick ( mom ), Robert Merrick ( grandfather ) , Thornton Dial, Jean Michel Basquiat, Frida Kahlo, Francesco Clemente
Current Influences: Joan Mitchell, Jorge Queiroz, Leonardo Drew, Charline Von Heyl, Amy Sillman, Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, Conrad Marca-Relli, Alberto Burri, James Baldwin, Tomas Transtromer and Robert Rauschenberg.
A Few Words:
I spend a lot of time thinking about shape. I spend a lot of time with a pair of scissors in my hand. I like making art that is labor intensive. I like myself most of all when I have completely succumbed to the idea that I must let go of something good in order to get something great. I like myself least when I am scared and holding back. My art practice is a daily devotion. I revel in the art making process and in the tactile quality of the materials.
Aesthetically, culturally and emotionally I am almost always mining the seam between what is modern and what is primitive. Poetry and music constantly inform my work and you can find traces of both in the titles.
My mother was a design student at RIT in the 60's and my grandfather was a typewriter engineer for Smith Corona. I credit them both for my love of design.
I credit Thornton Dial as the artist who most influenced me to start painting. The honesty, bravery and humanity in his work woke me up to the power of art and helped set the standard by which I judge my own work today.