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Check out Julia Bui’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Bui.

Julia, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I began painting portraits in 2016 at Long Beach City College. My portraits are informed by my full-time job as a counselor where I am communicating with and observing people all day long – both their physical form along with their emotional context. My main artistic influences are Alice Neel and Lucien Freud, other artists also known for their insight into human psychology.

After attending a workshop at Penland School of Arts and Crafts on full scholarship, my contact with professional artists affirmed the importance of process within the practice of art making. As a portrait and life painter, the act of finding and selecting models becomes an integral part of the artistic process.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
In July 2017 I began a series of paintings of “couch surfers.” Couchsurfing is an online network of over 15 million users who engage in cultural and hospitable exchange. Through Couchsurfing I am able to connect with travelers and offers them free lodging in exchange for time spent as a portrait model. Although my paintings are all done all prima within a 3 or 4-hour time frame, the entirety of the artistic process is days long and includes the time interacting, sharing meals, and touring Los Angeles with these “strangers,” turned house guests, turned friends. Through my portraits, I hope not just to represent the models physically, but also to capture emotions – of the sitter and of the artist towards the sitter.

Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
Art is more accessible and popular than ever before, which also makes it at risk for becoming watered down as a means to be more palatable for the masses. There is an immense pressure to make art that is well liked and will sell which might perhaps comprising artistic integrity.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My website is Since September 2017 I have been entering my paintings into juried exhibitions and I have had the honor of showing in 4 of them – most notably the Los Angeles Art Association Open Show, juried by Anna Katz, assistant curator at MOCA. Recently I was notified that my artist team has been chosen to participate in the LA County Fair’s immersive installation titled “Alt 66.” Along with 13 other artists/artist teams, we have been given our own room to design and build a full-scale experience centered around the theme of Route 66. The show is juried by Rebecca Morse, Curator at LACMA; Irene Tsatsos, Director of exhibition Programs / Chief Curator for Armory Center for the Arts; and Mat Gleason, Owner of Coagula Curatorial. Prizes are $1000 and $500 to 1st and 2nd place winners. The show will run from August 31 to September 23.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Julia Bui

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