Julia Ulrich is a contemporary realist oil painter who lives and works in Germany. Growing up next to the dark Forests of the Brothers´Grimm stories, her paintings pay homage to the rich history of fairytales and myths by which she was surrounded as a child. Her distinctive personal style emanates honesty and strength and expresses the mysterious spirit and atmosphere of a world between reality and fiction.
Playing children in serious poses, bodies of grief, fairytale figures, and surrealistic compositions are all brought to life with contrasting and harmonious colors. As the artist explains, “I am questioning rules and human behavior within their chosen environment. We all create our reality ourselves. The interesting part is seeing what setup the individual is choosing to work within and how that correlates to abandoned wishes deep inside.”
As a child, Ulrich couldn´t keep from drawing in every free minute in her life. From a young age, she has believed that her path must be the artistic one. She went to University and graduated as a middle school teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University Frankfurt. Years of self-teaching followed, especially in oil painting, where she took MasterClasses from Ryan Shultz (Chicago), Adebanji Alade (London), Chris Guest (London), and Henri Lamy (Lyon). At the moment she is working on her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at Fal-mouth University.
Ulrich´s artwork has been shown in group exhibitions in Berlin, Monaco, Zürich, New York, and Paris. She collaborated with Galleries such as Makowski Gallery, Carré d´Artistes, and ARP Gal-lery. Currently, she is working on a solo exhibition with a completely new body of work which is inspired by Grimm´s fairytale figures and dark stories but also by everyday moments in which playing a certain character takes over our understanding of individualism.
I still remember the exact moment, when my art career started. It was a week until my 8th birth-day and I wanted to craft my own invitation cards (back then, we did that instead of sending a WhatsApp message). Decoration came easy because it was the time when kids were collecting and trading stickers. But there I was… clinging to my treasures and decided I would rather draw the stickers on the cards instead of giving them away. The second I started copying the comic figures with pencil I was sucked into another world. Being a very uncontrolled nervous child, I found myself suddenly in a place of peace and silence. Everything seemed right and made per-fect sense.
Since that day, I came back to my place of peace more than frequently. It became a normal rou-tine for me to draw every day and enter my world of fantasy and mysteries.
After growing up, I changed my pencil to acrylics and crayons, and later on I developed an in-tense love for oil paints. Even though the subjects and materials changed a lot in the last 35 years, it still remained that urge of escapism and finding peace that makes me want to draw and paint on a daily basis.
With my work, I want to invite people to enter my world with me. It´s a place of miracles, in-spired by children’s books, comics, video games, phantasy novels, and the forest of Brothers Grimm, where I live. This world is full of wonders, joy, and magic, but also darkness, danger, and grief. It´s loaded with powerful characters and questions about that thing, what we call reality.