We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Frances Vericella and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julia Frances, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Risk is such an important part of a fine art practice and is a constant source of inspiration for me. I am always pushing myself to take the risk, to make work that is an honest reflection of myself and to never shy away from subjects that are taboo. I think an audience can clearly see when an artist has stopped taking risks- the work becomes stagnant and expected. Taking risks brings great energy into my practice.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Most of my photos are self-portraits and this twelve year practice of self-portraiture has created an almost entirely autobiographical career. Looking back at each body of work I’m reminded of where I was at the time, mentally, physically, and emotionally. My work began as a catharsis, a way for me to understand myself and process my experiences. Exposing the things that society tells us to hide has both freed me and documented each of my struggles and triumphs. I hope to create a space to discuss mental illness with my art.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Admittedly, I don’t get out all that often, but I do have some favorite spots in the city! Downtown LA reminds me a little of Chicago, where I went to undergrad so I really love that city energy. Hands down one of my favorite places is The Brewery Artist Lofts in the Art District downtown- the artist residents have open houses occasionally and its a treat to see the beautiful studios and incredible work created there. Whenever I visit downtown I stop by Verve Coffee Roasters with a good book to enjoy a cup of coffee and read for a while. Of course I love seeing art in the city and a friend of mine introduced me to Hauser & Wirth, a contemporary gallery downtown that has a really unique set up with a courtyard and community garden. Going a bit outside of the city, I did a photoshoot at Vasquez Rocks once and I could not believe the incredible rock formations and how close it was to LA- its a great place to visit for a day trip and some hiking. Finally, during this pandemic I’m really looking forward to going out to eat once its safe, and Crossroads Kitchen is going to be my first stop!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents definitely deserve recognition for taking an interest in my art and for taking my art seriously. As a teenager I reached an age when I drew in every spare moment I had, often drawing instead of sleeping. My Mom found a mentor for me, a multi-media artist named Rebecca Marder. Rebecca gave me the tools and space to explore my love of visual arts and it changed my life forever. My parents set that example for me, they took me seriously as an artist, so I did too. That early validation and support still means the world to me.