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Julia Kruse

Switzerland / Ukraine

Julia Kruse was born in the Ukraine in 1988. Art has always been an important part of her life: as a child she attended an art school, at the age of 18 she transferred to the Art Academy in Donetsk and later to the Academy of Art and Design in Kharkiv, where she graduated with a diploma in interior design. She has designed interiors in Ukraine and Zurich.

After graduating in 2014, the Russian military invaded the Donbass and she was unable to return home. Switzerland was a place of peace for her and the beginning of a new creative phase in her life. Julia began to rethink her personal and professional goals. Since then she has devoted herself entirely to creating new works of art in her studio in Zurich.

Since 2014 Julia Kruse has been creating collages and portraits of women, inspired by motifs from beauty and art magazines. In the following years she experimented with this technique and developed her own style. She also painted portraits of women in acrylic and oil on canvas. Living in Switzerland and under the pressure of political developments in her home country, she began to hike in the mountains to find moments of inner peace. This is how her new landscape paintings were created, using a special technique.

Artist Statement - Techniques and their development
« I have been creating collages since 2014. I present a series of portraits made in my very own collage technique, which I have developed and refined over the years. The purpose of these portraits was to convey the emotional state and experience of a woman. I often use flowers in portraits, they are not just a beautiful decorative element of the composition, but play an important symbolic role. This topic has been of great concern to me for many years. The emotional inside of the personality of a modern woman is very often hidden and can't be seen, I want to convey these emotions to the viewer and encourage him to think about it.
My works originate from truly lived experiences and exploration of human psychology. Themes of intimacy have always been important, the relationship between the mind and soul and the development of human identity in modern society. Renaissance portraits, especially by Sandro Botticelli, often inspire me.
I am doing female portraits using magazine clippings, sometimes leaving the print of the reverse side visible, creating a watercolour kaleidoscope effect. I like to use old magazines, make art objects out of them and give them a second life. The process of creating this kind of collage is a very detailed and long work; it takes months to produce one. Every single piece of paper used is unique and each with its own colour, for example, the anatomy of the eye of a woman.
In 2020-2021 I tried to express the same emotions with paintings of women on canvas. My hometown Konstyantynivka became a border town of constant war in 2014. The paintings of me and the "burning trees" reflect the permanent effect of this confrontation. Only in 2021 I began to escape from this constant conflict and went hiking in the Swiss mountains, where I could find some peace and calmer inspirations, which led me to new paysage paintings in acrylic and oil on canvas. Some of these works are classic paintings, then I developed a special technique where I use small tubes of paint to create the whole picture by separate lines in 3 dimensions.
It was also during this time that I found the energy to start exhibiting, first with a friend in Zurich, then in Venice, Paris and Vienna. »
- Julia Kruse