How has the Arts impacted your life?
Art was how I communicated as a child. At 4 years old, I did not talk in kindergarten. The teacher requested to meet with my parents and show them a drawing of a kitten I had drawn for my father. She had never seen such a drawing from a child. It was determined then that this was my form of communication. Now as an adult, Art has reached out to me, and now after a decade of fighting inner demons through psychotherapy, Art is now the main instrument for communication once again.
How would you describe your style of art?
I do the work. If it’s perusing paint or as my latest sculptural pieces pushing charred bone and rust. I am mostly defined by my piers that I push the limits of abstraction.
What inspires you to create art?
Inspiration comes from many areas for me. I have been inspired to work on a piece by experiencing a simple gesture of a touch which might be a soft water color or as strong as being thrown against a wall like a rag doll after a car bomb detonated in my vicinity in the early 90’s in Lima, Peru inspiring me to use body bags covered in charred bone as a sculptural piece.
What has been the most memorable compliment that you have received regarding your art?
My most memorable compliment was at the Aaron Davis Hall in The City College Of New York when I had a solo show (Void of Death) curated by Susan Luss, lpeople who I had never met before flew from all over to see this body of work that according to Director Gregory S. Shanck drew in over 30,000 visitors, this was overwhelming for me and it was hard to take in. Shortly after President Obama also viewed this body of work and had some kind inspirational words about the exhibition. This show has became the longest solo exhibition now running over 4 years.
How has having ZuCot Gallery managing your artwork impacted your career?
Zucot has not just supported me in my journey as a mature artist but has helped me find truth within my self and my work.
Where would you like to see your career in five years?
I would like to still see my self in 5 years looking at a canvas feeling that fear & intimidation, but still have the courage to tame the beast of the blank white space staring back at me waiting for my first move.
How can we follow you?
About Julio Mejia
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Julio Mejia is an American painter of Latin and European descent. Mejia combines his dynamic lineage and experiences into a richly romantic visual narrative. Reformulating archival pigment, binder, and solvents, he creates a more contemporary and uniquely personal medium.
Visiting South America annually as a child, Mejia enjoyed his family’s lush properties of vineyards and orchards. He always heard stories of his great great grandfather, Prospero Dupre Cazeaux, a French Impressionist Painter who lived on his family’s vineyard. At age two, Mejia's great grandfather, Edgardo Massardo Castellana, of his Italian family, served Julio a tiny glass of wine with water. In this memory, Mejia's relationship with wine began.
Mejia's works are featured in prominent collections and have been exhibited at the Cultural Patrimony of Peru Permanent Collection, Foreign Ministry of Peru; Tubman African-American Museum Permanent Collection, Macon Georgia; Latino Art Museum Permanent Collection, Pomona California; The City College of New York Permanent Collection, New York NY; the permanent collection of the United States Southern Command The artist currently works and resides in Atlanta Georgia.