Emerging West Coast Artist Julie Orr opened her first solo exhibition in New York on October 6th at Frontrunner. The autobiographical exhibition of the young artist is comprised of oil paintings on wood panel, exploring otherwise intangible experience through the use of environmental self-portrait.  The iconic self portraits attracted attention from art bloggers and passerby’s on the ChiBeca streets on Thursday night.

“I found Julie’s work to be an important reflection on our preoccupation with ourselves in the new media social web,” said Edward Symes adding,  “It speaks to our image and reinvention of our image.  Julie does a great job of showing herself in relationship to her environment.”

Orr sets herself in an imaginary and sensory environment of musical knobs and geometrically delicate future spaces.  Julie Orr’s world as a little music, a little nostalgia, and good dream to mix them up.

Orr’s series captures her transitions during the first years of her painting career, weaving a narrative of youth, transition, invention, and self-realization.  Orr sets herself in musical environments as diverse as cabaret, concert, and rave driven equally by raw sexual energy as surrealistic self-reflection. Auditory elements are translated into a visual sensation for the viewer. The power and energy of music is recreated through the weaving of bold color, textures resembling sonic reverberation and fluid movement.

Paintings incorporate contrasting images (such as soft eyelashes and hard piano keys or human flesh and soundboard buttons) to represent larger tensions between ideas and people.  The contrasting images flourish when they are given the energy of Orr’s deep sense of color and iconic imagery.

“If Julie was a musician? Well, she is Electronica but also a whole lot of Soul.”

The contrast of the cold electronics and warm flesh reflect modern music’s duality of non-living (technology) and living (raw sexual energy).  Orr’s work is both potent and current in only the way a musician could experiment and dabble.  But the music analogies only go so far.