Part of our artist portfolio from the Oh La La Land issue
With an aesthetic that Sabrina Tarasoff—writing for Frieze—called ‘boredom’s erotics,’ Paris-born, L.A.-based painter Julie Beaufils’ paintings burst with a pastel lust that gives a side-eye to Patrick Nagel’s illustrations of the late ‘80s. At 29, Beaufils has already exhibited at the Balice Hertling, and the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard in Paris.
Do you always act on your first impulse, or do you plan your pieces meticulously?
Most of the time, I plan the pieces I want to make but I leave room for last minute impulses. At the end, pieces rarely look exactly like what I had in mind because accidents and surprises happen—which is good.
What spiritual beliefs, if any do you subscribe to? Crystals? Energy healing? Chakras?
I’m not really into those things but some of my friends are and I enjoy listening to them telling me about it.
Can you describe your studio process?
I spend most of the time sketching and writing. Some paintings come from drawings or stories; others are inspired by screenshots taken from videos that influenced me. Often, the selected screenshots depict a moment or a character’s attitude that, to me, illustrate an emotion or a feeling that I’m interested in.
Does some of the energy of the artist transfer through a piece to the viewer?
The struggle is that, often, one piece only shows a fraction of the multitude of things you have in mind. As a result, when you look at the artwork, it’s that weird thing that your brain produced, which doesn’t belong to you anymore, but you can still catch a glimpse of what you were thinking about while making it—it can be music, a movie, a book. I hope viewers can also catch that glimpse and explore it in their own way.