There are two sides to Julie Kanapaux’s work. There is what she calls the “spontaneous, organic, free” approach that she takes in painting, in which she makes random marks, often inspired by nature, and adds them in an unconscious and unplanned way. Then there is his work as a commercial graphic designer – pieces studied, deliberated, computerized and used in advertising or as decoration. As she grew older she said, “These two worlds slowly began to merge. “
Today, Kanapaux’s practice combines traditional painting techniques with high-tech digital manipulation. Her work can be seen on gallery walls, in public murals, and even on tank tops and fanny packs.
To create one of her most recognizable works, a large abstract mural for the library of her alma mater, Ringling College of Art and Design, she designed panels on her computer which were then printed on huge strips of vinyl and attached to the library walls with blowtorches. In this piece, and most others, she uses bright, vibrant colors and layers that look like random spots of paint with more defined and recognizable shapes.
“What I like about art is that there is no end,” says Kanapaux. “There is no top of the mountain. What you can do is endless. Kanapaux describes herself as a “total control freak” and a “Type A personality” who has trouble letting go. Art provides an outlet. “That’s what always attracted me,” she says. “It’s that vent where there are no rules.”