I create paper cuts and small-scale paintings that include images of the figure, filigree, architecture, geometric patterns, and medical diagrams. These images are derived from my own history of spinal deformity and my fascination with the symmetrical elements of decorative art. While living in Florence, Italy, I gravitated towards the grotteschi decorations present in Renaissance frescoes. Here I saw misshapen creatures living in harmony among elegant motifs. Through my work I began to interject myself into this strangely beautiful language with silhouettes of my physical therapy, serpentine spinal columns, and the metal surgical rods that were implanted into my spine. While researching past treatment procedures for spinal deformities, I began to explore fusing together different layers of human history. I often abstract the diagrams, supports, and devises together into non-functional combinations of their basic formal elements. My paintings and paper cuts express the underlying beauty I see in the pre and post-operative x-rays of my spine, the tension between the organic and geometric that exists in my own body, and present a feminist critique of what is considered abject pertaining to the female figure.
Erin Juliana is originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She attended Maryland Institute College of Art for both her BFA and Masters in Arts and Teaching. After moving to Brooklyn, NY Erin received an MFA in drawing and painting from Brooklyn College CUNY. Her work explores themes of deformity and correction in a variety of media including embroidery, appliqué, gouache paintings, and paper cuts. Erin currently lives in Brooklyn, NY working as an educator and maintaining a studio practice at Industry City Studios. Her work has been exhibited at the 440 Gallery, the National Art Education Association Headquarters, and with Wanted Design and Industry City.