News from the Studio: Exploring My Artistic Identity
December 2023

A whirlwind of activity has swept through my studio in recent months. Following a successful Floating Spheres Installation in Berlin, I returned to the canvas. While it’s refreshing to take breaks from the studio and immerse myself in outdoor projects, there’s a certain depth to the work that happens within these walls. Hours pass without external distractions, allowing me to create vast visual worlds on canvas.

Let me rewind a bit. Over the past two years, it often felt like I was creatively hitting a wall. I was searching for growth, for a new expression in my work. It’s a paradox, as growth should be constant in art. Of course, I painted many wonderful pieces and embarked on exciting projects during this time. Yet, something was missing, or perhaps there was too much. Then, one day in 2022, I woke up, and everything had changed. I found myself at a standstill with my paintings, prompting me to embark on a search. At that moment, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was seeking. I had changed. I wanted to change. It took time to find a new visual language where I felt at home and true to myself. And with that exploration came the big questions. It’s inevitable when you spend a lot of time in the studio and with yourself. Artists provide ample space for reflection and introspection, both internally and externally.

Who am I as an artist, and what defines my work? These questions hadn’t crossed my mind for a long time, after nearly a decade in the business. But then came the awakening, the pause: Who am I as an artist, and where do I want to go?

During the development of my new website, the developers posed precisely these questions. It made me reflect deeply. I am Julia Benz, and I explore the interplay of colors and movement. It sounds simple. Or maybe not? At times, I felt utterly lost. It’s like speaking a language fluently and suddenly struggling to find the right words. Especially in intuitive painting, many elements must align for colors and movements to harmonize. So, I focused solely on colors for a while. Layer upon layer, I applied paint, trying to discern the direction of my journey. Where does my inner eye want to gaze?

I let myself drift and followed my intuition because that’s what I do best. It had to be large formats; after all, there was much at stake. During this period, an incredible number of new works emerged. I feel reconnected to my paintings and see the direction, the path, and what there is still to discover along the way.

I’m not sure if what I’m writing here makes sense to you. I think my thoughts on this could fill a book, and yet, it’s simple: Hi, I’m Julia Benz, and I paint pictures. I’m inspired by color and movement and what they do to me. Especially how they feel. That’s the journey of exploration I’ve been on for many years, and now, a new stage has begun.

If you’d like a glimpse into my journey, you can see the latest works from this time in Berlin. The Luisa Catucci Gallery is opening its new gallery in Berlin-Mitte on February 23, and I have the privilege of showcasing the opening exhibition alongside artist Matteo Montani. Perhaps we’ll see each other there, and we can toast to the beginning of the art season in 2024.

©2023 Julia Benz