Epaul Julien Biography
Epaul Julien is a self taught artist who began his career as a fine are photographer in 1995 when a near death experience changed his life forever. On August 30, 2005 when Hurrican Katrina struck New Orleans he knew how he was going to navigate the waters. Creating art for him is a necessity. It is a vital part of his existence. In the wake of Katrina he felt abandoned by his photography because he could not pack a giant enlarger, darkroom chemicals and the other bulky, cumbersome equipment in one day and evacuate from his beloved city. In exile for six months he decided to use images he salvaged from the storm, expression, light, energy, spirit, movement, texture and value to create his new mixed media art.
Epaul art reflects his heritage as a native New Orleanian. Influenced by the history of the city, abstract expressionist art styles, and a ready supply of materials in overflowing dumpsters of material from renovations in and around New Orleans, Epaul created a style that juxtaposes pieces of his life is Southern Louisiana with fragments and pieces of the material built upon the land.
Epaul canvas is not only a thing of beauty; it is also a world of information, if one chooses to look for it. The artist is an avid reader of history, folklore, mythology, philosophy and literature of many types. For Epaul, his material serves as an endless source of imagery that he uses to delight and intrigue the viewer. He seldom divulges his meaning, but meaning is absolutely packed into his work.
Epaul uses reclaimed lumber and materials, rescuing them from the doom of landfills and transforming it into something lasting and of high aesthetic value. It is an exercise in the resurrection of the city’s spirit. The wood is de-nailed, cut, reworked and instinctively becomes apart of each piece. Not only does he make a dent in the waste stream. He gives his collectors something that can never be remade.
His dedication to resourcefulness, environmental consciousness and artistic vision is also reminiscent of his Native American Ancestry. His art like his city represent the rising-from-the ashes, rebirth of New Orleans with a long history of refusing to go down without a fight.
Julien’s work (photography and mixed media) has been exhibited, New Orleans Museum of Art, the Louisiana State Museum, Ogden Museum of Art, Houston’s DiverseWorks, the Darkroom (New Orleans), Stella Jones Gallery (New Orleans), Arps Gallery (Amsterdam) and DeGalerieDenHaag (the Hague)M.IA Milan Image Art Fair, Milan, Italy. His Katrina series has been catalogued in the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Katrina Exposed (2006).
Press and Publications
University of New Orleans Press, published the book, Before During After: Louisiana Photographers Visual Reactions to Hurricane Katrina, a companion to the international traveling exhibition.
Julien's work has been covered by the Washington Post, Washington Times, Houston Chronicle, Greater Houston Weekly, Louisiana Life Magazine, Kunst &