Julie Heffernan is known for painting resplendent fantasies centered on her self-portrait in various guises. She employs the refined technique, rich palette, and bountiful detail of historical European painting, but transforms this tradition into unexpected, seductive, and often anxious contemporary stories about self, society, and our imperiled environment.
Like the interpretation of dreams, what is familiar in Heffernan's oil paintings is also elusive. Large in concept and scale, each painting offers lavish twists and turns of narrative that draw us into the visual space of the painting, much as a movie pulls us into the imagined world of the filmmaker. Raised in San Francisco, Julie Heffernan maintains close ties to California, and is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Yale University School of Art. Organized by the Palo Alto Art Center, this exhibition features 14 examples of Heffernan's grand storytelling from Northern California collections.